How I adored you,
your towers like pearl white teeth.
I am forgetting.
Days spent in your company pass before me
like buses stopping at corners to pick up
other people whose compassion you deliver
round the city to earn a living.
I could walk forever and never
know your boundaries, what I can admit,
what I’m forbidden to say.
How I adored you,
the gap between your soft lips.
I am forgetting,
can barely remember your face, stylized
version I’ve hung up, faded and misshapen,
a muralist’s fantasy maintained as homage
to something unattainable, lost,
city we were meant to build briefly
and then meant to be stolen by fate,
time, the unwavering Gods.
Horns blare all night long
as I recall. What respect
were they portraying?
Even an earthquake can’t save. If it swallowed
the city, your children, my commitments, still
our days wouldn’t collide. I don’t know you at all,
tripping, falling over the person
you once were, over the skinny boy
I once was, over the lazy daze
I kept on my face for you.
Fat, rounded, well-fed
unambitious now and set
in my own routine.
Honk say the cars as they waddle on past, honk
danger to the man who steps off his sidewalk,
paralysis and worse for daydreaming, holding
onto a place that does not exist,
land that perhaps never existed,
city and towers built on marshes
drained for the hope of progress.
You with your babies
crying out, “Mama. Hold Me.”
I can’t stopover.
What fine scenery we have in the country,
lovely wild trees and paths worn by bare feet,
organic and efficient, green and earth friendly.
I love it. I really do. And tell
myself what I miss is lost in time
not the dimensions of space or choice.
Breathe in the crisp open air.
Car horns are softer
around the edges, muted
by their spruced up lawns.
Avenues exiting the city are highways
of promise, well signed and suggesting you might
enjoy a quick vacation. When leaving, the signs
hope you’ve enjoyed your stay, and promise
you can come back soon. But they fail
to mention construction and detours
and that the road is one way.
It’s morning back home.
Taxis pick up commuters
for expensive fares.
Days spent in your bosom, in your heart of hearts
play before me like a great movie, the tape
growing grainier every time, though I can’t
stop watching. I know the lines, I know
every quote, and halfway through I hope
every time for a new finale.
Credits over the soundtrack.
The night upon hope
of us ever mingling.
It’s simply not fair.