The City at Night

The City at night smells like memory & life to you.

Only in the right places, of course.

It smells like youth,
like fantasies of endless abandon.

Especially when it's just rained.

You don't know the names
of the chemicals & materials
that constitute this smell.

You know only why you find
so much delight
in such a slight thing:

Once, a long time ago, you would roam
the luminescent concrete pathways
of the City & you were free.

Liberated from the wrong kind of eyes & noise,
you found a place where
the rules were different,
 
where you had just enough money,
& just enough friends,
to create a sense of excitement…

but now you're older, &
                       everything has changed.

Somehow all those nights came to an end
& you're left with nothing
but soft-edged memories.

All the minor details,
                      once so sharp &
bright
you held them tight
to protected them
like diamonds,
              have faded;

the beginning has become
only the fragment of a dream.

Freedom has changed:

obligation replaced attachment
& left you with only
a feeling of distance,

the strange sensation
that you are not what you once were,
the you are lost
& always have been.

Reason has fallen.

Yet stubbornly
still you cling to something
you cannot explain,
except to say:

"We all have dead & dying hopes & beliefs scattered about our feet…
but I refuse to believe that we cannot find the strength
to bury them; that one day we will find the strength
to begin again.

Fuck you if you don't believe

                            just watch me."

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