The Poet Community

As If Toughness Were about Standing Still | A Poem by James Diaz

Where is your notebook?
Some shadow self who hopped trains
in a prior life
my mouth against the earth
how water grooves around stone
this long aching search
underneath the mossy top soil
fortunes I may have buried
to keep bad luck at bay
long ago.

Remember how we used to love California?
I asked
No, we loved the idea of California
you say, so smart having seen it all
while missing the center.

Do you miss the center?
Do you call home
to that ghost town you ran away from
as I kept the car warm
fifteen years ago?

I have a feeling that you aren’t as happy as you say you are
fifty cents shy the coolest story
any one can tell on a good day
to those who aren’t really listening.

We are and are not ourselves these days
anyway
I learned very little from loving you
except to keep turning inward
when I am this sore on the outside.



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