Urban chambers of a human heart

Cities are persons, each unto themself. A personality emerges among tangled streets and weaving freight lines that deliver the necessities we all share. What differs is method, mode, route, way. The motions by which these things come to us are the lines in the faces of our cities. I have known many of you intimiately. Los Angeles, Riverside, Portland, Tokyo, Honolulu. The way you wink and scowl, frown and laugh is neverone and the same. Even to pass, you ask your pardons in a variety of languages.

Those whose clothes I did not get off, I have touched at least the skin of. Venice, Seattle, New York, London, Frankfurt, Braunau. You were brief lovers whose rhythms I could but guess at. Moments sparingly passed between breaths in which we brushed arms, touched hands, kissed. I know only how you differed from me. I loved those little things,but never came under your fold. When I left, you stayed a stranger all the same. If I return, it is in the same way I first came. A visitor to your steps. Always, the other.

But I know in knowing that alone what I know of past lovers. The curve of their body around a knot of highways. The bulge of a hip bone where the river turns. The intrusive skeleton of a highrise where the bones of my favorite speakeasy once was. Signs of your aging, your coming or failing, of your hoping and dreaming. Of, in its rawest form, your body.

And you, my cities and moments within them, are forever with me.


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