You Are the City I Live In

You are the city I live in.

You burn in the bulbs of its

music halls, dance in the smoke

from its stone chimneys.

Ascending, your sparks sear

the mad country,

which shrieks with exile,

shrieks with cold.

They nestle on my frozen eyelashes,

and ignite my beggar’s hair.

They make lilacs of my tears,

and a bonfire of the frosty kingdom

in which I lied and preened,

king of nothing, king of ice.

You are the city I live in.

I see by your bronze

street lamps, whose lamplighters

are never tardy,

but march every evening into the dusk

grave as soldiers,

the wicks at the ends of their long poles

firing relentlessly upon the tin men

of night.

You are the city I live in,

a burning city without walls.

It needs none,

for it is built of gravestones

more familiar than infants’ cries.

Its towers jut from my ears, and

my tired heart is only a front

for its embassy,

through whose bright passages sprint

elves, empresses, siblings,

all couriers alit

with some impenetrable mission.

It would be easier to fling myself beyond

the sky and clamber to the top

of an undiscovered moon

than to pass from these,

your burning streets.

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Mindfulness/yoga teacher, actor, writer, singer. Independent critical thinker. Heterodox views. Illuminating dark places.

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Blake Shields Abramovitz

Blake Shields Abramovitz

Mindfulness/yoga teacher, actor, writer, singer. Independent critical thinker. Heterodox views. Illuminating dark places.

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