it was one of those roads
that felt like the people
living in those leaning
dust-covered buildings
had given up on finding
that real home
where a soul
can take root in that
yellow-white line
that spirals out of the center
of the earth
instead, they settled
and let themselves rot 
doing a daily grind
to make their daddies proud
saying things like
“When the kids take over this place”
but none of us really stayed
because we would not allow
their slow death
be handed over
in a soulless hollow
where monsters 
wore the masks
uncle and aunt
or neighbor
so we let their
dreams and memories
like that thick water
in the middle of those hot
dog days