for their sake.
The hometown tells me
it has grown tired
of my exhaustion.
The hometown has stolen
all the ideas I have ever had.
The hometown tells me that it is awarding
a medal to everyone who didn’t grow up in the hometown.
The hometown says that my family’s restaurant
has burned down, but, it says, it makes for some wonderful pictures.
The hometown says that it is no longer my home
and barely is a town.
The hometown erases my name
from my birth certificate.
The hometown says that my new name is
The Book of the Dead.
The hometown says there is a No Trespassing sign
where I used to like to walk.
The hometown remembers when it would get so cold
that cows’ ears would freeze and break off.
The hometown teaches me a new word: hown,
which means you own the hell out of someone.
The hometown is a large heavy book, a tome, and it forces me to carry it to its cemetery
where my uncle used to light dynamite and throw it into the nearby swamps.
The hometown has a bluff where at least six people have either thrown themselves off
in desperation or tripped and fell, which it is, it’s hard to tell.