You Can Never Return and Never Know

Even those who can never go back

dream of returning back home,
taking the long long way back
on a rusty Indian motorbike
belching white pass the whitewashed
high school, the wounded buildings
housing black lung renters choking
in the cigarette smog of late winter,
pass the signs of the empty supermarket
the shredded leaves littering broken streets.

You will return on the grayest day, clouds
stretching the horizon like abandon train tracks.
In a dirty puddle you will see how you warped
in time and the light. How nothing reflects quite right.
Yesterday your mother held your face in her palms,
her caresses followed you alley to alley, her song of praise
bouncing down from the rain-soaked rooftops.
In the smudge of your memory you know she is dead
and this town will never change and you were never here.
Just the faded broken heart tattoo will follow you to the future.