I am stunned by the magnitude
Of neighborhoods. Both driving through
The tangled nests of cul-de-sacs
And zooming on digital maps,
I can’t believe how many lives
Live out in spilled, honey-less hives
Of stringy, headless villages.
I know we’re legion, but still. This . . .
I’m not awed by demographics.
Large numbers are only numbers.
Our neighborhoods are compounding
And confounding, not countable.
Drive subdivisions in the dark,
Nearly anonymous exurbs,
Or rural bedroom communities
Where a few shadows walk their dogs.
At dawn, people get on with lives
That blew them into these corners.
Children line up for the school bus.
Today might be garbage pickup.
Every neighborhood is unique.
Entire worlds curl up in them.
They’re everywhere, like pottery
Shards where middens were abandoned.
Fall into any neighborhood
And land on a random planet
Where ghosts pile up in drifts against
Hearts beating hard against panic.