We slept in parks and learned to love the color of the fading sky.
The city air was thick with chemicals and the smell of greasy food.
We collided with the music of street musicians
And danced with chanced encounters, so unaware of how they’d change
The rhythm, the routine of our lives. Immigrants
Poured out of factories at the change of shift
Spilling into the streets, as waitresses with soiled
Uniforms and hands like wilted lilies headed into all night diners,
Both bringing hunger and a feeling of fullness to the body of the city.
We lived in books with a high metabolism
For ideas, for revolution, for trinkets of the world.
We rummaged through dumpsters, through each other’s bodies,
Through the simple mysteries of our existence.
We reveled in ruin and stunk of teenage prayer.
There was not a part of us that knew what it meant to be out of breath,
Yet we were constantly running.
We were mischievious and sweet as as the maraschino cherries
Lou would give us when we’d stop into the bar.
We were Mandalas awaiting color.
We absorbed each other’s loneliness
And traced each other’s scars in the darkness
Like they were constellations guiding us toward something greater.
We lived in places of discarded syringes
And loved like heroine taking over the body.
We slept on the world’s discarded mattresses
And read books that had been thumbed through and highlighted,
Constantly requesting one another to read a favorite passage.
Young love fluttered within us like wash in the flattery of the sun.
We listened to the same music on repeat sharing headphones
While sharing a coffee, the steam of tourists danced around us.
The sound of fire trucks and veteran’s diatribes blew through our scarves
And somehow made the city feel warmer,
As we adjusted to the temperatures that were often brutal,
As the cold winters of youthful self-doubt often are.
Still we searched consciously and unconsciously for the clothes,
The jazz, the coffee counters that would define us,
Clinging dearly to the unnatural quiet a city can sometimes give to young lovers
Who spend every moment with their heads on it’s shoulder,
Holding hands, watching the movie of life play on.