Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The City that Slept with Me

New York, 
You’ve grown on me.
Like an unruly vine grows on the
wrought-iron gates
of some distinct Bronxville home. 

I promised not to be loved.
After all my sordid love affairs
I promised not to be loved,
But to only love instead. 

You broke my bitter promise, 
And you kept it, all at once-
You’ve loved me like a mother 
Who gives her naked body 
To sustenance. 

New York. 
You've made an unreliably honest 
woman out of me. 

Your winding suburban streets
Have wound themselves right into my heart
And the bursts of air from your city subway vents
Have filled the many crevices of my brain 
And made me a feather-light babe
In love. 

I have parted with my heart, 
On several of your streets and intersections.
And given many a cavernous kiss, 
On your numerous rooftop bars.
And, I too have marveled 
at the droves of your electric stars 
As I joined them in a fast-walking-city heaven; 
Like everyone, with googlemaps open

Your labyrinth of expository village walks
Have worked me into a sweating, heaving mess.
And Ive felt the tingles when 
Your crowded subways thrust 
Nostalgic smells like Old Spice
upon me. 
Indeed, even the bee-line buses’ warm heaters,
Have made me moan in delight 
On not just one, 
But many a frigid evening. 

But no, 
I won't say I'm in love. 
For you have patiently taught me that 
There are dangers in no-filter.
And in forgetting that people are kindred strangers.
But still:
I knew the stubborn truth last night, 
When the sight of your skyline brought a smile
To the very edge of my ears.

I'm only a brief visitor to the intricacies of love, 
Just like every other 
museum perusing
not-quite New Yorker.
But I do see the overwhelming substance of it:
Just like every other 
overspent adventurer
and transitional passenger. 

And, it inspires me to know:

I once left home for ye*, New York. 
But today, I'm coming home to you. 

*Until familiarity provides such liberties,
An enclave, as it is, shouldn’t be singular.

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