Home In The Past Tense

When did these walls
become more than plaster,
when did my breath
suffuse the moulding,
my skin scuff each idle tile –
Does a prison, eventually,
love its prisoned persons;
do their lives seep deep
into brick and bar iron?

These moments have bled from me,
streams, then rivers, oceans now –
One cannot hide so much time by
applying a coat of Renter’s Beige,
Institution Green, or Gentrified Gray –
Who will I be when this life is abandoned,
and will the wreck speak fondly of me?

the journey ends at home

the journey begins at home and ends at home and
different people are there, tapping their watches and
stealing fleet-fingered glances from the clocks; figuring
train schedules and grocery store hours and
what to wear in case it rains, or is foggy, or there’s
a dust storm or tsunami or
the wildfires bring ash down like warm, stinking snow.
the journey
can show you all of these places, or none of them,
through circuses or slaughterhouses,
over trenches or under bridges;
the journey can take you there, too, but remember
that it begins at home and ends at home,
and if you aren’t at home right now, well,
good news:
you’re heading there.