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how did they know to preserve Abraham Lincoln's birthplace but destroy mine

I was born in a thunderstorm
bookie for a father
bartender mother
named after a man beat to death
with a pool stick years before

flashes of early youth
illuminated by
lightening cracks of memory

a one bedroom apartment
behind a State Line strip joint
a termite ridden porch
parking lot of gravel and broken glass
the contours of my world

across the street
silhouettes of nude women
lounging in wine glasses
painted on the brick wall
of a go-go club
as enticing a horizon as
any boy could ask for

it's all gone now
the home of my youth
the bars and clubs and dope dens
the whores and hustlers
consigned to the oblivion
of selective memory

every building razed to
beautify the corpse of a city
that died with the steel mills
all that remains are
spread eagle industrial parks
gartered with bicycle trails
not so much as a used
condom in the gutter
marks the debauchery
which once flourished
where I once lived

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