Homesick

Drop your quarter in the slot
and kaCHUNK another kaCHUNK
and two more kaCHUNK kaCHUNK

Ready player one? Ready
player two? Ready
Zangief? Ready
Ryu?

My soul sings chiptunes.
My heart is carved with
quarter-circle-punch
hold-back-forward hit
low kick low kick low kick
–now slide, slip back and taunt.

Laugh all you want, but
I’d hang Dan’s autograph
on my wall. In my dreams
I’m howling with Blanka;
in awe of Akuma; chillaxing
with Ken in a penny arcade
by a burger joint
by the beach
in sunny Cal-I-forn-I-A
in sun-bleached smog LA
in the IE in Redlands
on my couch, blanket cape-like
’round my shoulders, controller
in my hand. My thumbs dance
with muscle memory. I am ten again.
I am home. I’m with friends.

Rhode Island, I love you,
but my mind moves west;
youth isn’t eternal
here; weigh anchor.
Weigh anchor.
Take me
home.

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