My city never sleeps.
It’s up all night.
Just like three college students drunk on being tired
who perused 7/11 like a Thanksgiving feast
spread out on a maplewood table.
It’s South Street diner where the Cuban sandwich
will melt in your mouth
at 3:00 AM.
With the packed-full booths and the shouting cooks,
scrape of the spatula on a sizzling stove,
and all the hungry human din
of the people
who just couldn’t fall asleep:
Who just couldn’t sacrifice this day for darkness,
Who needed one more kiss and one more bite
to fill their stomachs.
It’s the bright cavernous maze of the MFA,
Corridors of secret spaces to touch each other’s waists
That sweet fugitive feeling of being
where you don’t belong:
But the museum never seems to shut down.
My city is a sprawling lawn
With feet twisted together
Watching a movie framed by a warm carousel
and a cool mathematical skyline-
each pricked by bits of light and bleeding constellations.
It’s a sprawling archipelago of theaters;
a chain of culture hopped like squares on a sidewalk
Skipping stones that hit art no matter where you throw them.
My city is a highrise apartment
And the set of keys in my palm with seashell ridges
The lock that I expertly twist and kick or nudge with my hip,
The room where I sit and feel awake.
When it’s dark, when I’m tired
When the world is a rush like the street and the sirens
When my brain is soft and clouded
In this city,
I feel awake.