by Erica Kitner
I donít want to go downtown tonight. I would rather be talking to the birds.
I donít want to down shots tonight and tell a boy that I like his hair cut.
I would rather be mangled with the grass, telling Mother Nature that I like her hair uncut.
I donít want to wear jeans; I donít want to hold my belly in.
I want to run free and let the wind blow through me.
I donít want to smoke;
I want to breathe the breath of trees.
I want to hug the trees.
I want to understand their patience.
I want to feel their love.
Donít give me a degree.
Give me 90 degrees.
Give me 180 degrees.
Give me 270.
Give me the 4 directions that mean an infinity more than I can even understand.
I still donít want to go downtown tonight.
Why donít the squirrels go downtown at night?
Why donít the flowers, the rivers, the evergreen trees, the polar bears, the mockingbirds, the brown bears, the coyotes, the bald eagles, the foxes, the rabbits, the raccoons, the horses, the owls, the lizards go downtown at night?
Whatís so special about downtown anyways?
The true downtown is by the lake.
Thatís where itís all happening.
Down by the lake,
A thousand little blackbirds are chattering at once.
They are sitting on ancient trees
On branches gnarled like twisted fingers towards the sky.
A duck with an emerald face
Floats on the lakeís surface
Flirting with the ripples in the water.
A squirrel stands on two feet
Asking me for a treat
A smell of autumn
Kisses my nose
On the mountain
The wind pokes at the leaves.
The leaves yawn as they awaken from their sleep on the ground.
The ground is folded with a hundred crevices like a bedroom blanket in the morning
The lake is in the middle of it all: held like a precious secret between the mountainís thighs.
The birds keep chattering, the duck keeps flirting, the squirrel keeps asking, the smells keep kissing, the wind keeps poking, the leaves keep yawning, the ground keeps folding, the lake keeps hiding, and the mountain stays still.
This is downtown, where itís all happening.
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