I knew flowers and trees and forests and cliffs

and sea—I knew the sea

—but not the city

not its urban cavernous maw, hungering feline imprint

drying skin with whetted inhale

I did not know the feeling of lying beneath weight

hearing wail of life around me, seething petri dish

glut fast on its own interminable dining

nor unyielding grind, ill wrought orchestra

playing eternally out of key

—I lost myself in the city; disarticulated pieces

becoming one, naught, torn flag of identity

wandering wide streets, gorged with bright cars and dark corners

in the city you can get lost further than you will be found

I knew flowers and trees and forest and cliffs

and the sea—I knew the sea

—but not the city

nor your receding car as you dropped me off, tattered teddy

hung limp in arm, suitcase, snapshot of something unwinding

slow, until distant, collecting beach glass; until gone

(we are built upon, until our shoulders curl and we grow tired)

the noise of the city stays with me now

even as mockingbirds, wielding hawk and cicadas compete

even as pomegranate and cherry tree, sway with bloom piercing day

still see myself climbing sticky unfriendly stairs to my new home

a pigeon tired from flight, finding roost on dirty chimney

and as the world’s landscape became cement, sweat, shouting—

I strained to hear your voice among them all

but you never did reply when I called

—from that inner-city rooftop

for you were already in the past, the green of freedom

chewed edges gray from belching machines, left behind

a paradise circling the city

like a halo around sun.

5 Replies to “Urbanisé”

  1. I hear you, but don’t understand, since I love the city, it’s energy, noise, people, and all that goes with it. I couldn’t live anywhere else.

  2. Now that i think on it, I do find it easier to picture you with a nature background, even if it is just a park, than one of gritty city street.

  3. I know what you mean. I grew up in huge cities maybe just got my fill. I love aspects of them tho. I think it’s good either way. Meaning whatever works in that point in time. 💜

  4. Always astute in all your readings … it very much is. That could be why it was rejected from the literary magazine I submitted it to – their call was ‘city’ – perhaps as you say it wasn’t really about that. I get a lot of rejections so I’ve started submitting less. thank you dearly for reading my friend. THAT helps.

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