This City

Every sip, connected to the other one,

The liquid connected through memory and taste

A haze of tea leaves crushed and yellowed,

Sugar, milk, adrak and the magic of giant copper vessels.

Dust everywhere.

Every scrunch under my feet,

Rising and settling

And mixing with the flakes of my dead

Skin. Skin everywhere.

Every spit and cough and sneeze,

Of every animal, man and tree

Merging into a mist of organisms

That make up the breath of this city.

Every breath, upon breath, upon breath,

From when people gathered on the shore

In the beginning, the very beginning…

To what the winds carry out to sea tomorrow.

Every whisper, moan, gasp and wretch

Every way in which we can say

Do and show.

Every memory, every thought, every heartbeat.

Etched forever, forming the lifeblood

That courses through my narrow veins

Overwhelmed, by the sense of being

At once an ocean

And yet just a flutter in the breeze.

I know not, who I am

And what courses through my veins

And yet, I cannot be who I am

Without it.

Without them all

Without us.

This city,

These people,

This shelter.

This wilderness.

This ocean.

This wind.

Whispering through the french windows of this distant suburb,

Carrying me back

In a warm current across

All the stores

Of this memory.

Of this existence.

Connected and whole.

Fragmented and alone.

Afraid when I first stepped in, walking the streets, thinking of the millions of shadows.

Skin. Skin everywhere.


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