A Newcomer to Action, Massachusetts
A local told me: Why do I call it Action instead of Acton?
Because “I” live here.
I live in Acton most of the year.
I fell in love once and spent a year in Action.
That sky is a better blue, but looks like someone colored it with “Sky Blue”
and “White” colored pencils. I tried to sound more artistic, said colored pencils
but I think they were actually crayons. The whole city, scribbled.
A drawn town is impermanent, movable. Erasers exist.
Every fall we burn down the whole town and start over, move back to Acton, while it rebuilds.
Both towns have rivers brimming. In Action, they split their seals, spill over bridges.
Why did the river overflow its banks and cross the road?
There are no parking garages in Acton, but in Action, I rollerskate on its lower levels. The echos
sound like babies crying, or ghostly laughing.
From the top of the parking garage, I watch buildings amble around like dinosaurs.
What is the name of the dinosaur that is square with windows?
Skyscrapeosaurus? Native to Action, they nibble trees
that resemble bushes.
Do I see people in their window stomachs?
I never find my house. I either live in a neighborhood
where all the houses look just like mine, or a neighborhood
where none of the houses look like mine.
Someone asked me if Action actually exists.
Every Halloween I host a haunted house in my condo in Action,
invite my Acton friends.
We listen to the closets rustle.
I bring them to the town hall.
If you look at the monument from the South side, it disappears.
by Valerie Loveland