Wash (for the folks that went to George Washington High School)

Wash (for the folks that went to George Washington High School)

Did you go to
Wash?

What year did
you graduate?

I remember homeroom
like an heirloom

I can’t wash
it out

Mr. Chandler told
me not to bend books
back to the spine because
“books have feelings”

I can’t wash the
memory of the fine
sisters in the halls who
were more woman than
girl while i was more boy
than man

and that Chinese girl,
was her name Linda?
She was fine and her
mere presence brushed
across my skin like a sultry
fog that slid
then left

i can’t wash the murals
off the walls of my mind
that showed George Washington
and ex presidents as heroes until
we got out in the world and learned
otherwise

i can’t wash
wash out of my skin

and how the black
settled in my brown skin
to create something that
could never be washed out

i went to Wash
and you went to Wash
and i remember a young
Chinese cat who kicked
a tree branch

turned 360 degrees in
the air like a kung fu movie
and made the air pop

that won’t Wash
from my mind

and i remember taking
the bus, for a nickel
and seeing kids from Fillmore
on the 38 Geary

Kids that didn’t
remember me from
grade school, sitting
Alone in the bleachers
Contemplating splinters
That were to become poems

but i can’t
wash them from
my memory

can’t wash their
voices from my
mind

can’t forget the way
they were when
they were young

and went
to Wash

(c) 2016 Tony Robles

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