New York, New York

It’s been two years
since I’ve gazed upon your
miraculous metropolis aura.
A pandemic-
a lifetime-
between us
.

I often wonder
are you different?
A silly question because
of course you are.
of course-
I hope that you’re different
as in
happier,
shinier,
brighter.

Sometimes I ignore the fact
that I know the opposite is true.


I imagine you
dingey
dark
and deep as ever
.

The last time we were together,
it was I who was suffering.
I couldn’t appreciate you then.
I hold the memory close to my heart
but at the time,
I didn’t have it in me to love.

I grieved inside of you,
confident that your towering presence
was enough to blitz away my heartache
.

I idealized
romantic evening explorations under
endless electric lights

just like the first time we’d met.
But it never happened.
Our evenings were short,
messy,
expensive,
blinded by rage,
as I desperately tried to fill the void
with you
.

Our mornings were slept though
and our walk in the park
to the museum
miserable
on the brink of burdensome sob
.

You didn’t penetrate me
the way you did before.
But it wasn’t you.
I wasn’t me.
My dissatisfaction-
my disappointment
in you-
was 
projection.

And now
you’re not you.
The trauma-
the transformation
that transpired in the worst way
.
Again, not because of you.
I doubt you’ve changed a bit,
it’s society’s view of you
that has.


The pungent stench of grimey alleyways
was endearing before
and now
after the world was shaken,
you’re undesirable
.

Your enlivening endless crowds
were enticing before,
And now-
intimidating.
Horrifying, even.

Your sorrow,
your grief,
your tears,
your sick.

It’s been two years
since I’ve felt your
exhilarating rush.
A health crisis-
thousands of heartbreaks-
between us.


Can we ever go back to
the hustling and bustling,
the pizzazz,
the sparkle,
the heights
,
the you can wear anything,
the you can finally be you,
the if I can make it there,
the big apple,
the colossal personality,
the skyscraper individuality,
the neverending footsteps,
the always something around the corner,
the rainsoaked streets that made me a girl in a movie,
the adventure I could never predict,
the fulfillment of shopping until I actually drop,
the never quiet,
the never stop.

Are you there?


I can’t go back.


When you look out across your lavish horizon
across the country
barely visible
tucked away in a
tiny town
among towering mountain ranges
that never sparkle after dusk
do you see me longing
for the old you
and the old times?


We can’t turn the clock back
and we can’t erase the trauma of the past two years.
Just know,
that if it were possible
I’d catch the next flight

and we’d have the time of our lives
again.


The opportunity that was you
was meant for me then
and not me now.
We’re not meant to be, and it’s ok.
Because now
I am more me.
I am all me
.
I am not new, but better,
happier,
brighter,
shinier,
and I can love

and you had nothing to do with it.

But I see you
in every small town
and so-called city I visit
with their supposed towers and alleys.

Every home I cozy up to
and fall in love with-
there’s always a piece of you
within.


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