In 2010 I was twenty and the
Modesto smell of almond factories and cow dung
filled my nose; these were more innocent entrances.
Grey concrete sat under my unstable soles
and the burnt sky shone little lights.
The laughing people moved around me graceless.
I sensed them like I was looking through a heat sensor.
I saw them smile at me sometimes, but what were they saying?
The dirt on my hands absorbed the heat as we searched
for vacant space to party. This dancehall would be
my sleeping grounds once the white lines vanished
and the bottles were emptied. These were less innocent
I lugged my sun-bleached backpack and sleeping bag
Into the empty house and saw crumpled pieces of foil with black
traces of guilt on them, as I opened a fresh piece of foil and placed
my sugar black glob on it. There were no more innocent entrances.
The silhouettes still laughed, still drank, still filled their brains and veins
and lungs and tongues
Those smiles were contagious, so I slapped one on me.
I believed in it.