Poetry

154. I sold my soul to concrete, and it didn’t do

yesterday upon a stair_

I snaked my limbs around the city’s
roads converging in the night.
Her hidden parks, her ditches.
Her rivers and bridges.
Neon lights.

I slept with the city.
She kept her eyes open wide until morning, then,
like a jealous ex-lover,
recounted all my faults to you.

As I often do,
I woke up and found myself in love.

The desolation of concrete suburbs
didn’t scare me.

Drunks at 4 a.m.,
power shortages,
abandoned fire stations,
decrepit crack-houses in the middle
of her shiny streets.

Have you ever been inside?
– Naturally.

I was born as a child of a different landscape.
I used to prefer the sea
to the rough edges of a sky
stabbed over and over again
by sharpened towers,
bleeding magenta into the dusk.

I used to prefer musk and sandalwood
to your artificial, medicinal smell of metal.

Is that blood I can taste on your tongue?
– No. It’s the steel frame holding my urban soul in place.

I see. Does it help you not to crumble?
– Naturally.

I am made of hay and mud.
My roof leaks when it rains.

The city is concrete through and through,
like her, you never shed a tear.

A boy and a girl,
constructed out of rods and columns reaching into Heaven.
You fear the rust.

My humble heart used to be closer to the earth than most
hearts are, these days.
Now, love has taken that refuge away.
I can no longer cover myself in dirt to heal.

The city wants me clean.

But I am a child of other landscapes.
I’ll never do.
I’ll never do.

My God, only now do I see:
I’ll never do,
for neither her,
nor you.

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2 thoughts on “154. I sold my soul to concrete, and it didn’t do

  1. Having spent much of my childhood in forests, mountains, and wilderness, whilst growing up in the suburbs, and now finding myself somewhat rooted to the often-ugly city, this piece went straight to my depths. I feel so much of this conflict of landscapes that you so vividly bring to life.
    Heartfelt, visceral and so very real.
    Thank you for this.

You think, therefore you are.

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