February 6, 2015

Light from Dark

During the day,
The city is all rushing bodies,
Ceaseless whispers,
An assortment of lives streaming together,
Spilling over each other,
Flooding the streets
With an urgent vitality. 

Faces without names
Crowd into the subway train,
Names without faces
Glance at you from pages and signs.
Humanity is restless, tireless,
A feverish burst of energy
Imprisoned by flesh and cloth and lipstick
And the cruel tick-tock of a thousand watches. 

Beneath the city’s asphalt skin
Something low and old and ominous,
Some death knell,
Rings.
But the telephones ring louder,
Echoing through the labyrinthian veins of cubicles
In the city’s concrete atriums.

During the night,
The city is softer, friendlier.
Antique memories pace
In empty buildings,
Letting the streetlight melt
Through the windows
To reflect on their ghostly eyes.

The shadows of the people
Who have walked the now-abandoned halls
Gather in the corners,
Beneath the windows,
Sheltered from
The blinding industrial glow.

Crawl into the shadows,
Lie by the memories,
Feel safe.
Alone, resting, tiring,
Momentarily freed from
The cold metal hands
Of a thousand clocks,
The cold metal peals
Of a thousand church bells.

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