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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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