Pictures of a Hometown

Photo by Athena Rajnai

By Athena Rajnai

I. Dog

the one who skips through the cold

claiming the block with his taupe coat 

and over bitten jaw 

talks much more to me than his owner

about cars, mortgage, life.

the grass on the front lawn

defrosts into icy droplets 

as each one of Roger’s paws bounds 

closer to the steps

of our front door

instead of his own 

II. Old Friends 

perhaps i sound a bit detached im forever certain silly someones will see this maybe i swear i’m not writing about your simple somber scheduled synchronization to my psyche personally instead i’m dictating defining differences from this place where i was planted to the place i prosper as passing holidays grab gradual gray growth off of the shelves and properly place it in it’s pocket please i propose you go away fly and fray from my memory as the years move by moderately measured with a bedroom not bare of a bed or frame but far far away from such a farce  

III. Best Friend 

as i watch the pools in your eyes glitter

you offhandedly mention the creek

and how my hair took on the color of the algae

as we swam against the running water last summer

this place is not deserving of you.

here is where neither of us will decide 

whether to hold this life close

or hand it gently to the uncontrollable flame

of a horizon broken and familiar 

you speak dreams into me 

after a year of absence from the wood

our smiles erupt into the sunset’s laughter 

that echoes atop the camel shaped mountain 

it cradles the both of us in its untieable knots 

of barraged blaze

meant always to bring us back to youth 

with mouths full of home served on porcelain dishes

but instead lends itself to the dark 

that has seen everything in our houses 

and swallows father time’s elapsing 

IV. The Woods/Downtown

the rot begins 

as the moon settles itself into the sky

and the lamps under main street’s awning 

begin to buzz with neon luster

against the flapping lanternflies 

and fluttering snowflakes 

the syringes lift themselves off of the pavement

and snatch at the backs of my car’s tires

in an attempt to deflate them 

i will never part completely 

downtown begs

with its coffee cup in hand 

from the cafe beside the courthouse 

and an emptied promise to rebirth itself 

as storefronts disintegrate 

into the storm drain 

the small white car makes it uphill 

like many times before and after 


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