A Walk Past Wheeler Park in Flagstaff Arizona

I see a single bench
pinned to the floor of a large grass park.
I see the beige field
buckling to the untamed lightness of green.
The chittering sprinklers, the water,
the mini-vans, the empty lot, and the kids kicking a hacky sack.
I see myself.
My first bee sting, My first lost fight,
I see where RuPaul put on that free show.
They water these fields with gray water. Gray
Meaning untreated. Unpotable.
Unstoppable nostalgia. A payphone ringing?
Nostalgia vortex.
I see Swamp Thing comics spread across the bench.
The Marvel trading cards and the bad trades.
Asking the important questions.
Has a super-hero ever gained power from gray water?

I hear that rattling 350 in dads old truck,
“Danny, let’s roll!”
I smell the decaying upholstery, and the sawdust, paint, and adhesive on dad’s Cabela’s work shirt.
I hear the chinking loose quarters that pay for our water.
Potable. Treated with fluoride.
Smell that almost-petrichor from the standpipe,
I always got wet removing the hose from the 500 gallon tank.
The drive up Bonito, left on Thorpe, dad opens his skunky Beck’s
Once we’re on the dirt road. The ponderosa pine in the spring.
I hear the pitched sproing when the basketball hits the concrete slab.
Practicing layups while the tank drains into the pump-house.
We’ll argue about math homework and I’ll go to bed.

I’ve gone to deep. Late to meet an old friend.
And the park tells me to keep off the grass today.

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About Me

A poet-chef living in Denver, Co. I use the orange Aquafresh toothpaste, off brand mouthwash, and those little floss picks.

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