In the Shadows of the City

In the shadows of the city a young woman rummages through the bargain bins
Of libraries and bedraggled bookstores seeking solace as she prepares
To ascend to some far off distant land where the grit and muck
Of this world ring only a distant bell in her waking memory.
I wait at the gate with the west wind at my back gazing upon the horizon.
There’s a poetry in her every step as I see her stroll further and further away.
“Where is she off to next?” I wonder wishing I could see her off
Knowing I’ll never hold her close nor ever hold her hand.

The wind howls and the locusts sing their tune summoning me away.
They order me to leave my post at the gate and return my gaze to the city
Where the cracks in the pavement and the smell of urine on a subway platform
Compete for my undivided attention with the song of blasting sirens.
The moment I obey I know she’ll glance over her shoulder gracefully
And I know I’ll miss that moment and I’ll miss her brown bedroom eyes.
I return to the shadows of the city where the indigent barkers march
While the street sign graffiti tells me all hope is lost, dead, and buried.
I pause to wonder if a lifetime could truly be lived gazing into her beautiful eyes
Or basking in the light of her smile yet if she ever did look back before departing
I’ll  never know for sure nor would she ever know how much I wished to stay.

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