We moved in before
the rebound, when the homes
we’re still cheap. Had our pick
of the vacants, Ghosts canvased
the neighborhood until we
gentrified the departed, I would
say our hood carelessly, none us
wanted for much, out loud. It’s so brown
here, my mother would say.
Everyone had kids, and then so
did we. We fought over who
had the greenest lawn, removed
our shirts during July swelters.
Our daughter met the twins up the block.
Then the other black girls who were
a year ahead. The neighbors would walk their
dogs, carrying blue grocery bags, stopped
to let our little electron girl pet them.
When the fall came again, we saw the couple
across the street rake their leaves, so then
we combed our lawn, and the folks next
to us followed. And God said it was
good. The woman two houses down
argued with a new boyfriend,
and someone new must have called the cops.
The lights stained our windows. I had
forgotten the last time I was threatened.
Naïve boy in my house of straw. I had
forgotten the last time I was called
something I no longer was. Was called
something I never was. Another cruiser
entered the night, and then they took
everyone out of the house. In the spring
the house was still haunted. The city
planted trees in front of most of the homes.
Ours died because we never watered it.
We didn’t know who it really belonged to.