You live in a city
but spend your life telling people
you come from a small town by the sea.
The church there had no steeple;
no iron cross rusting in the salty air.
You were happy there.
You live in a city; you flew
there in chains.
You grew too much. We all grew
too much. The soft grey of daylight rain
forgotten. The shimmering sea
furrowed into a frenzy.
You live in a city, and all the faces
you know don’t smile
when you find that place
on a map and say ‘my God, it’s been a while.’
We are all unhappiest alone, so why should they care
if you were happy there?
You live in a city. You don’t speak about
that small town by the sea. How ironic.
The temple you built around
it crumbled. Nothing platonic
About it now.
You wonder how,
because never in your small town did you long
for the city. But
all the wrong
turns you took were guaranteed. Shortcuts
that never let you go back,
through all the nights you longed to go back.