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ode to the bygone city


Artwork by Isabelle Lu, staff artist

I kept a list, somewhere,

of the things I pocketed:


roadside glass, a sewer

drain reflection, pigeon


struts and snivels. Look,

these wounds converge.


A song in exchange for

a penny, a bargaining chip


for a chance. I was on fire

then—the type that likes


to jump out of its skin.

Here’s a week reeling


into the last, and another,

well. I lied, I never kept


the glass or reflections or

birds, only the ravaging,


the smother of dust, and

it was me. I let the city


pass through like a fog

—no, a flood, except


a flood would remember.

Is there a way I can keep


without losing patience;

is there a place I can go


and leave myself behind.


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