Back then it was O.K. to pass as a thug
or the child of a good job at the post office
loitering in the trashy alleys out back of the Dairy Queen
or parking cars for tips at the winery.
Back then we woke through the mist of chilly Sunday mornings
looking awry at the girls in shiny pants, talking trash
to their brothers. Quick stepping only when we were alone
through a love struck suburb pregnant
with fresh pavement, parks and a savings and loan.
Back then we had the time of our lives
amid quiet lumber and rocket stamps licked in the dark.
The literal images riddled with the grace
that would have made us afraid of the same wet promise
every day lie folded into our memory of the present.
And the future, my friend, was a long time coming.