Sidney St.

We’re walking.
Hands interlocked
across the crosswalk,
I feel under my feet
the crunch of cracked concrete.
The stench of fresh asphalt,
hot and heavy in the air.
The steam slithers through
the holes in the soles of my shoes.

I’m walking.
Loneliness seeps away
as the sun
sinks into my skin,
I see the house
across the block.
Lock eyes with
the new “for sale” sign.
It’s a surprise.
I remember it a time ago.
Not knowing the renovation growing inside,
I forgot to watch its progress.
This house

used to look a lot like the others.
A three-story,
but held so much more than that.
A three-story
whose stories were told in
chipped wood and stained sentiments.
But this three-story
is now their story,
all its old glory
washed away
with new paint and plaster.
I’m walking…
Faster now,
past the stoop
and through the threshold.
This open house opens questions

when I mention to myself that I knew the souls who lived here.
I wonder whether we share the same faded memories—

Like being welcomed by a faint pound of bass,

shaking the screen door.
I’m standing.
And my mind returns
from where its wandered.
My eyes begin to water.

I realize the sterile stench of bleach reached my throat.
I note the hollowness of this ‘new’ house.
Surrounded by these freshly painted walls,
I feel as if I do not belong.
This house that was once a home
is now a shell.
This neutral hell
might sell well
to those who can afford it.
Remodeled to remove any
life, love, or culture,
Its value went up
with the erasure
of our existence.

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