We have the town we call home wakening for dawn
which isn’t yet here but is promised, we have
our tired neighbors rising in ones and twos, we have
the sky slowly separating itself from the houses
to become the sky while the stars blink a last time
and vanish to make way for us to enter the great stage
of an ordinary Tuesday in ordinary time. We have
our curses, our gripes, our lies all on the stale breath
of 6:37 a.m. in the city no one dreams
read more at The New Yorker
“My little bird won’t come”
—Immanuel Kant, 1803
Why moan about it, Johnny-come-lately? My friend,
When you were born your city was long gone.
Misty eyes don’t turn hair grey and you,
Your name: too quick for it, too green.
Seventeen years, a childhood hardly, were plenty
To erase the past. They sealed the wounds all up
In strict and somber grey; enchantment ceded to bureaucracy.
The Saxon peacock wasn’t slaughtered out of need—
Lichens, inexorable, bloomed on sandstone flowers.
They come back like hiccups, elegies: why brood, why bother?
read more at Asymptote
It is raining in Manhattan. I am sitting in a chair overlooking 14th street and I realize you were right. I told you that people are taller than buildings. I told you that there are many green places in the city. Look at Central Park, for instance.
In the morning pink light falls across hardwood floor, spreading out like a thousand peonies, and I imagine that it is a greeting from you. But it is nighttime now, and raining so it makes no difference if I tell you a few real things. Today I saw a billboard advertising cigarettes and in a fit of frenzy went home and burned dinner.
And could you love me if I was pretty enough to be painted on your billboards? I would let my hair down long enough to collect pools of curls at my waist. I would pose naked in front of your tall landscapes and reach out with both arms pulling this city into my body.
And Mucha, the weather is all over this house.
I thought of such things while walking to a shop to buy cigarettes. In Manhattan, the streets smell like a wet cement and baked bread. It feels like the whole city is yawning. I, too, am tired of this body.
-Catherine Bresner in Burnt District