Being steeped in a place
Knowing the corners of it
Where the dirt lives and bits of hair
Assigning memory to season
To train tracks and sidewalk cracks
How many years does that take?
You were a shortcut through a neighborhood where men yell at me
from their expensive sports cars.
10 years have gone by and they still do it.
I pull up next to them and ask what it is they’re trying to say to me
as they roll up the window and keep it there,
Acting as if they know nothing,
surprised I say anything back.
Will it ever stop them?
It’s odd looking at your destruction
Your chunky rubble
Once lively and peaceful in turns
A winter wonderland mantled with snow
Lit conifers, muffled crunching
A silent tiny abandoned city.
I’d ride by and feel the heat of iron being cast
Sparks and fires unimaginably large
A surprising warmth on a hot summer night.
Leaving you and crossing the Cortland bridge,
skyline in full view in the absence of your buildings,
wondering if there were more hidden avenues unexplored.
Over that bridge above filthy water,
the buildings of the city rise up like bookends
and I know I’m not far from home.