Somewhere a Lost City



“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re still awaiting word.

      Please be patient!”


      The ragged man reselling his goods

      The woman sucking her nails

      The child on the platform weary,



                                 tin drums in the echoing

             corridors of the underground


       The people with faces like flowers in a vase of receding water


             —the rioting lights of Times Square

             —the nauseous tremors of the subway

                                                            with nervous tick


             —the sandwiches left half-consumed

             —the scalding coffee abandoned to cool and expire

                                                            on a table’s edge

             —the bagel smeared grotesquely with cream cheese


       The eyes upon you

             masturbate to your impression

             or         dislike you because

             or         see all they are and are not

             The people you’ll never meet, never love, never

                          see expire

             Hidden catacombs of thought


                    —pigeons flying somewhere                                             warmer

                    —footprints across crushed cardboard and cigarettes

                    —trashcans resigned to their scattered innards before them


             The rush to get somewhere and nowhere

                    for someone and nobody

             All the tired eye sockets, like bruises on week old fruit; heads of hair

                    wilted, and turned gray


       The taxi driver who talks himself out of loneliness


                    —a mother arguing with a daughter on the subway for everyone

                                                               to hear with silent distaste


                    —days wearing out like neglected pistons

                    —mornings when you can’t believe the face in the mirror


             The times you vow never to do this



                          The broken resolutions, forgotten promises


                          The women— the women!— who               slip by


                          Times       you say you’ll move away somewhere           warmer




                                                           Colorado skyline, the Grand Canyon

                                                 Paris, Nice, Arles

                                                 the emerald forests of Klimt’s                   delight

                                                       (trees planted side by side like upright toothpicks)

                                                 the orange and pink rooftops of               (Florence)

                                                 the diamond beaches of                           (              )

                                                       (with a rainbow array of fish

                                                                like a handful of children’s trinkets)


                    —papers and cans rolling in the wind

                          sweeping along a time-worn current


                                                       Car horns and alarms

                                                                        Sirens              the sudden anxiety

                                                                                       of an             ambulance

                                                                                                              police car

                                                                                                           or firetruck



                                                       Sparklers and firecrackers

                                                                       hissing to death

                                                                                                         in Chinatown


                                                 Shadows of the evening

                                                         creeping                                       down telephone poles





                                                                                       a propagation of bright,

                                                                                                                  illusive lights


                                                                                          tiny islands             blinking



                                                                                                                         in the dark



                                                                                        the lost city

                                                                                                     of our prenatal fantasy

                                                                                                                       our darkness



                                                                              the crackle of rain                                 mist

                                                                                      in the pre-dawn grayness

                                                                                           that obscures everything


                                                                                                                 and makes us laugh

                                                                                                                               one more time


                                                                                                                        to be children



Appeared in FIRE: No. 26 (Oxford, UK), In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself Vol. 6 (MW Enterprises, Raleigh, NC), Looking Forward, Looking Back: Canonical Poetry and the Contemporary Response (PulpLit Press, Cambridge, MA), Under the Influence of Art (Portland, OR)

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