Vancouver 2018

when a city is ripped down
to its fossil resin,
and you once lived
in a “nice big house” behind a chapel on Jackson Street
you sit there now in silence
notice the paint peel in slow
motion there’s a division of race, of gender, of class, of—
a city’s silence
they call it art
they call it science
they call it some unsolvable math equation
meanwhile, children here are hungry
dirt under fingernails
empty lunch boxes
textbook pages missing
a teacher’s eyes glazed over and glassy
found everyone’s minds
dreaming of elsewhere
there’s a thirst here too clenched
throats parched from city smoke hi-rise
climbs the walls
cement dust flies to fill nostrils
music dies out to a whisper
fluorescent lights buzz and hum
mountains mirror metal
a chapel on Jackson Street red
and white brick sprawled
out behind trees
oak every plank
white wooden fence stands guard
like infantry
guns aimed
at a house
you once lived behind
a chapel
on Jackson Street

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