I didn't expect to see Tony when I looked in from the front porch,
through the kitchen window of Len's house in San Jose.
Tony was cooking something in a cast iron skillet.
I didn't recognize him until he turned from the stove,
saw me through the window, and smiled.

His shoulders were broad, his hair darker,
and his skin roughed-up by work in the sun.
Not the skinny, pretty, blond-haired pre-adolescent kid
I still picture.

He must've been working out.

But the house looked the same as it did when I lived there,
a tattered, sepia-toned photograph.
The dandelions in the parched front lawn were ready to explode.

The front door was standing open.


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