about living in two cities


Living in Two Cities

I live in two cities with the same name. 

The first city is beautiful.
Like you are when you get off the plane. 

In it live all the explanations of all the generations of dreamers.
Of artists and thinkers. 

The first city has a taste to it,
like the brave parts of everywhere that everywhere brought with them when they came
- bites of culture smuggled over in seasonings and grandmothers recipe book stains. 

The first city is an almost empty train,
with no delays and you two stops away.

It's only the clean cabs
and only the time sq tourist cops
Its kisses so slow the entire city stops. 

It's a lot, 
but it spits you out smiling. 


Unlike the second city.


The second city bites.
Deep like freezing rain and pitch black nights.

millions hiding in their homes or behind glassy eyes, 
the second city is twisted steel and shiny lies. 

Like " everyone can make it" 
Like " you don't really hate it"
Like " stay busy, stay high, and if not you can fake it" 

It only has expensive schools
And pretentious art
And cardboard signs in shopping carts.  

The second city is only ever hard. 
never laughs or smiles back.
Always defensively on the attack 

It's so hallow I can hear it ring when it rains.
It's not looking at homelessness then getting mad when it stinks up your train. 

It drives you sad
or insane.  

But it changed
back the moment you came. 

The streets filling with dreamers who refuse to wake up. 
Like they always do when they see you.

And I was back.
in the place where my love lives. 
And where your love let's me live too. 

Copyright 2017 by Paul Curry