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The City Rises in Me


by Bill Yarrow


Cities! Cities! I have lived
in cities: habitual, arrogant 
cities circumscribed by cities

on the alert for alacrity
 
filled with false vitality
rising revised out of history

burgeoning cities bloated
with stoic pride, notorious
for hope, filled with ethical travail. 

These cities, yes, but also
 
cities reticent, inferential 
embedded with desuetude.

A decade here, a decade there,
 
to what end? Position. Man needs
locus, not looseness, in his life.

What's a road? A swift excuse
for a city at each end. What is
not a city? Nothing. 

Socrates lived in a city.
 
So did Meyer Lansky. The city
rose against them. That's what

cities do; they rise,
sometimes in us, 
sometimes against us. 

The city rises in me.
 
I hear it whisper.
I ignore its roar. 
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