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P O E T R Y
by Sandra M. Castillo
| THE VACANT LOT
for Mark Hinson
You sit at the dining table, lean your chair against
the black tempera woman Joni has drawn on the wall.
Large letters form an arc above her:
What does she want?
Between smokes, much drink,
cartoons of men with enormous teeth,
you make a list, feverishly attempting
to answer the metaphor you call a riddle.
You were always on.
My mother hated this apartment, your apartment
before it was mine.
She didn't like the theatre chairs, the antique clothing
Joni displayed in the small living room.
It looked, she said, like 1955, not understanding
that was why I wanted to live there.
Today, shirtless tanned men drive yellow bulldozers
through that backyard garden of tomatoes and peppers,
through the walls of what was once my room,
the apartment you always pretended
you never moved away from,
through the summer I thought myself
in love with you.