The City, January 5th

Tower City is beautiful
the way that broken things are beautiful.
The way that black and white pictures
of how things used to be are beautiful.
The natural light flooding the fountain area
hits these ghosts briefly before they glide up escalators
and pass through doors,
always on the way toward somewhere else.

Public Square is full of things that aren’t.
A fountain without water,
Christmas lights unlit,
colorful birds that can’t fly.
I am determined to make eye contact with someone,
smile, and say “Good morning.”
But people are cold and rushing to find warmth
and avoid my gaze.

The City is perpetual –
that’s the word.
Perpetually looking forward,
perpetually under construction,
perpetually stirring up clouds
of bus exhaust and black and milds.
Perpetually too full and too empty.
Somehow perpetually constant.
I know it, and it knows me.
We make eye contact, smile,
and say, “Good morning”
as I pass through.

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