Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

City Sick

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
I would hold you,
if it meant a damn
thing against the wave
of so much sound,
tearing at my window
in such wicked ways
as to keep me at the
precipice of sleep
so many nights, so
many drinks, so many
cars blinking
the streetlights
headlights
lamplights
and every sound
you've only ever heard
at 2 a.m. and wake up
screaming for your hold
in the dark, fever.

City sleep is never sound
and neither was yours.
I heard you breathing all
those nights, not out of need
but the luxury of not being
sound, not trusting so deeply
in another as to slip away
in their absence, in knowing
that you'll have them in waking.
Because I slept with such abandon
as if you might never slip
away into the city sound.
As if those sounds were never
yours, never the door you eyed
with such purpose and scrutiny,
because you left with such intention
and a whole sound anew to me:
your leaving and the gasping of
life, love, belief, trust, hope, fear,
that it left in me like a disease.

And this sickness I trust in,
I felt so healthy in your disease
and this city, like the patient nurse
I've only ever hated, holding me
past the point of sickness to
what might be health, but to me
seemed to be death, to be the
only sick thing I had ever seen
in what we shared all those nights.
Because in me she sweeps the
hurt from the hearth, she let
you slip into such sound that
I could no longer hear your voice
or your footsteps, even as they
departed from my peeling door.
Because I'd survive the hurt
if you could pull my hair back
once more and find in me the
disease that has plagued me
for all these days with your eyes
like the sexiest sickness that
ever had put its hold on me.

And this city also sweeps it away
and into the air the sound disperses
and I hear nothing but the city sweep
of sun-lit desperation and a terrible call,
my own, to the birds, the air, the pavement,
and to you, this grand and giant city, this
monument to my own hurt, to this drink,
to a whole world of sinking lovers
and sinners in such words as to be
never known, never uttered.
I this sickness I sink.

And the headlights, cutting across
the room of our little apartment in shadows
that are never yours, never were, maybe.
And 2 a.m., dreaming and believing in
some god to this city that doesn't exist.
Because you could leave it.
Because 2 a.m. never seemed, to you,
a suitable time to sleep, to love, to give,
to do anything but nothing. And the horns
of cars, the flash of police strobes,
none of which does a damn thing to
compel you to stay. Or to hold me.
This city never sleeps at 2 a.m.,
and it never slept with me in such silence.
It watched with such fervent attention
as not to know how I easily I loved it.
This sickness.
You.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback