June 9, 2016/August 28, 2016

I was maybe sixteen
when I bought a stamp 
at the stationery store
on Downie Street
for fifty cents and
the clerk was amazed
that anyone would pay
so much for a stamp
and I said
it’s not just any old stamp
reminds me of Nick
with his Pokemon cards
a bit younger
times change
and don’t

In my dream I
bought stamp albums
for both of them
boys I think
they had so much fun
I decided to go buy
myself the grandest
of albums at the 
philately shop
but then Marika
reminded me I had
an old album
stashed away somewhere
I wandered home
along the Grand Concourse
amidst the throng of
shops and colorful folks
absorbed in my wondering
where I’d put it
walking in the street
until a little Mazda Miata
ran into me hard enough
to knock me over
to teach me a lesson
there are assholes everywhere

But are there still villages
with lunch counters for gossip
full of folksy familiarity
like the Bible study group
which I hated?

My father said he chose
the Ancianato
because of its little courtyard
full of Germans
but I know the truth
his little flat
had a door
he could shut

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