Cities

Cities

Each day dawns, a drawn breath held till dusk.
The musk of each is unique;
A cocktail of intentions and mistakes,
With a tear shed for each brick that cracks,
And apologies for each promise that breaks.

We came here for different reasons,
I suppose; only neither of us remembers
All those yester-Decembers ago
What motivated us;
Who we were: what we wore
Underneath those clothes.
Our photographs are evidence
Only of smiles and situations.

You couldn’t make them up.
There are no reciprocations
In the chewing-gum train stations
Where the late and the latents
Expend fate and patience
In becoming the justification
For all of this urgent art.

False start, true friend;
I will hold your hand
Till the sour end.
Let’s not be anxious, or unctuous,
Obnoxious or rambunctious;
But rather let’s welcome among us
The vegetable, meat and fungus
Of a thousand surviving ideas.

Come the hour, however it may,
When nature’s tentacles split stone
And concrete crumbles –
When all of this dust-deaf marshland
Reverts to verdant jungle –
Will we embrace the return of the trees?
Or cower under our desks,
And rock back and forth, humming mildly,
Hugging our knees?

Our fears are only as logical
As the wind is visible.
Our hats are only as fashionable
As our desires are risible.

They coddle us with possibilities.
Foundations in yesterday’s clay,
They’ve fossils on their soles.
With heads in the clouds,
They see four futures at once –
Each advancing apace
From north, south, east, west;
Wearing a gaunt game face.

Every decision is made here now.
Every action external to this
Is akin to the breaking of wind
By a slaughterhouse cow.
We are blessed to be in the presence
Of a greatness we couldn’t have planned;
A greatness formed by no godly hand
In these nerve centres;
These everted brains;
These magnetic meathooks;
These gold-plated drains;
These castles of plastic;
These muscles of law;
These tumours of landscape;
These rumours of war.

 

Appears in:
Rhymes for all times [2015]

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