by Steven J. Serafiani

They say that this was the man who died,
murdered in 1831,
they named a golf club after him,
on some land in Jersey,
made private by a man named Keller,
now to me,
this is my street,
my home,
took residence at age eight,
leaving the carpenters to their ville,
to saplings and fresh rolled carpet to the south,
across the street, nothing but plots,
and they would fill up fast,
this is where I would become a man,
I remember that first fourth of July,
the neighbor’s kids and I,
screeching and running and laughing in my front yard,
Baltusrol was one big party,
my parents sitting in front of those pillars,
the adults,
met my friends,
all asian except for Josh,
this is how I grew up,
around unknown tongues,
unknown food,
and unknown differences,
we rolled around in our rollerblades,
playing hockey in the cul-desac,
shot each other with sticks until the sun dove,
until mother’s called for their young for dinner,
we zipped along on our bikes,
going to the edges of the subdivision,
to us, the ends of the world,
the freedom,
usually ending up by that pond,
throwing rocks and saying curse words,
cause we were boys wanting to be men,
to the dirt hills,
now covered in big boxes,
that was our sanctuary,
to puberty,
I remember that tractor,
the one motionless in the dirt,
found those magazines
shot hoops in driveways,
the thump when it hit the garage,
the yell of my father,
my sister in braces,
with her older friends,
that time we stole christmas trees from mailbox trash heaps and blocked the road,
or stole bulbs from strings and got caught,
football games in backyards,
cut the grass as my dog barked at the mower,
made ice forts in the winters that never ended,
lined up for the bus,
sleepy heads dragging legs in the frost,
god damn,
so much more,
and now it’s like that man murdered,
now history.