30 April 2008

in the city i love

Do you see what I see?
You’re 35 miles away and I can barely hear
your voice; the sky is a splitting image of the melting
polar ice caps brilliant and dynamic clouds creeping
across the expanse, and the moon. Oh, the moon shines
through like an under water window into a secret
world of light, tucked away because we cannot bear
its radiance yet die without it’s light. Look closely, focus
on its allure and welcome how its ferocity helps us
momentarily forget the thoughts and fears that surface
when we’re subjects to the darkness. The moon takes away
our need to dream because light makes fantasy obsolete.

Do you see what I see?
You’re a lifetime and three months away even
as your brilliant blue eyes look back at me from
your framed smiling image by my bed; I exhale
as these mechanical stairs carry me up to
a city that chills through the bone and smells like
home: a potent concoction of dog urine and fresh
rain asserting itself from beneath
a neglectful attempt to coat the street
in chemical soap. As I avert my eyes from
the hollow faces that feign confrontational indifference but
secretly beg to be called by name, tacky bright colors
hide the scars that run so deep converging with
underground rivers of ancestral blood
and fecal matter. Like skeletal hands reaching out
from the heart of this forbidden city, towers
of glass and steel shift like a hologram
with each step – revealing its existential crisis
of whether it provides structural support or arbitrary
frills for this haunted place. Perfectly fitting form
and function – a domineering force of
authoritative pretension. Were you deceived
into believing this city would let you be
whatever you wanted? Who you really are
when no one else would? When
all other love proved conditional?
These streets are not paved with
those precious metals our ancestors died
to mine. These concrete fortresses are illusions that
manufacture inadequate substitutes for safety. I was told
of this feeling called excitement, triggered
by bustling crowds and neon glows, but
my anxiety rises as the misleading proximity
of poverty to luxury seem to hint that
no one cares either way.

Do you see what I see?
Your lean growing figure fits
awkwardly in my embrace; but you live in
an alternate universe somehow tangent
to my reality where my assets are your
deficits and your wisdom goes unheard or heeded
because your words bear such weight that they
drop into the uncharted territories of the yet
unexplored oblivion even before the moment they
leave the vast expanse of your colorfully
charged intellectual cavity. A radiant beauty
unabashed but silenced by neglect. Shining through
the wear and tear of the spiteful words and cruel
eyes that form a barrage of devastating antagonism
we’ve learned no defense for. You cross out
what could have been a timid assertion of
an unacceptable, undermined, potentially disastrous
identity. I trip on my thoughts and choke on my
words, incapable to carve out an adequate space for you to fill.