I do not wish to live alone in the city
where the strip-tease of lights and alarms
is contrasted by a backdrop of uneasiness,
where the reassuring hum of the 9 A.M. train
mingles with the scent of last night’s murder.
I do not wish to live alone in the city;
the city does not need me. It carries on
without me, like a sputtering torch against
a big, black sky; the ground choking on its own night air.
I would only spread my self thin across its self-important avenues,
shout above its acid-laced rooftops
that I am still scared of giant buildings and blood on the streets.
Should I fear for a life alone in the city? Maybe not.
…or maybe I should wish to live with the city,
become a red poem splattered against its white brick walls.
— A. P.