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7/23/2004

the end of the ironbound 

people can fade easily. like sand castles, and clouds, and whispers between strangers on a familiar sidewalk.

last night they sang your name on every corner of every street. watching from a distance, it was a religious experience. they all wore white. sang in unison. and the echo rose from the streets and up into the sky, bouncing off the dark blanket above and fading as it fell.

i watched and understood, finally, that the city has taken you from me. you belong to it now. even if you don't love it in return, it has wholly given its heart to you and if i still know you, as i'm sure i still do, somewhat, i know you can't help but be drawn to that.

i don't have the city anymore.

i don't have you anymore.

i still have my love for this city.

i still have my love for you.

despite all this, it's time to mark the beginning of a new chapter. i don't believe in happy endings. a happy ending is but the precursor of the next day and the next day is what i have to worry about now. so i'll mark tomorrow as the beginning of a new book. tomorrow i'll commence a new story. and it's actually the same story in the large scope of things, but stories only catch a glimpse of time. they are specific and intended, whereas we were never that forced. the pages of the books we shared and the scenes of the movies we watched together all open on specific events. the genesis of a plot. but this is not a book, or a movie; this is you and i and this city we fell in love in and with.

i wish this was a book. how i wish i could write and re-write beginning, middle, and end. but i can't. my pen is dry and my mouth is alone without you.

if i could, i'd write us together, alone in the ironbound. all the sidewalks and hydrants yours and mine. all the trees, named on evenings when the sun is barely peeking over the horizon at the end of a long summer day. and all the corners, yours and mine to stand and be, sing and re-sing, remember and forget everything and anything.

i don't belong here anymore. i need to go. i need to go for a while. i need to move away in order to break free of the bound of this town. i need some different air that isn't saturated with you and with my memories of your scent.

i need to go for a while, and see different towns and cities where different people are falling in and out of love. with each other. with themselves. with a city.

last night they sang on every corner, and between the chorus of your name they shouted good-bye.

7/22/2004

the time 

i tell you it's time. i tell you this place is a place no more. that the streets don't seem to fade into each other anymore, but rather appear to break and begin again and again. a stop sign, a red light, that's the way the streets speak to each other as the night wind bends the old trees and drags dry leaves out of their slumber and through the cement.

it's time to say good-bye. good-bye to the streets and avenues. good-bye to the passaic and to the parks and curbs, hydrants and gutters. i need to find the words to say it and the legs with which to walk away.

7/21/2004

different 

i saw you from a roof-top.  you're different.  even without hearing your voice and breathing in the taste of your neck, i sense that you're different.  and that you'll never be the same.  because your walk is different.  and because your smile is hidden behind your make-up.  and because your eyes seem heavier, even from a distance such as me standing on a roof-top and you walking on wilson avenue... probably headed to the fish market to buy some salmon.  you used to love how i grilled salmon for you.

you're different.  i don't know what has changed you, whether it's time or the world, the people or the city, my absence or the memory of what we shared.  but whatever it is, whatever took the youth from your beauty, it did a grand job of hurting your soul.  because i could see it from that roof-top.  and i could see it in your step.  and i could feel it as once i felt you arrive before seeing you; my spirit taking you in from around the corner, seeing things eyes never could.  you never ran from me.  i wonder if you would now.  if you'd run from the memories, the stresses and caresses, the calls and the anxiety of waiting for the calls.  i wonder if you'd run from me in fear of not being able to leave anymore.  i wonder if you'd cross the street.  i wonder if you'd let your fear show and whether i'd be able to see right through you as i once did.  as i still think i can.

from what i saw today, you'll never be the same.  and i'm also different.  nothing is as it was.  nothing.  not us.  not this city.

maybe, just maybe, it's time to go away.

7/20/2004

what's yours 

the mayor thinks he owns this city. he may think it's his. fool. nothing belongs to a man. nothing. but everything can be taken away or lost from one second to the other. everything that has legs can just up and walk away from our helpless hands grasping at the ever-growing air and space between you and that which is no longer yours.

(or was it ever?)

that's why i never called you my girl. i never said, "she's with me." because really, what does any of that mean? nothing is yours. nothing belongs to anyone. i have a computer, but it can easily break down. i own a pad, but i can leave it behind... it can become lost in the shuffle of all the moving things. and i'll never see it again. and if it was mine, had it been really mine, no one would take it away. no one would be able to. it would be mine. mine. all mine. but not really.

the same with people. they come into our lives, they stay awhile, they speak to you as if belonging or feeling belonged, but none of it is true. people don't belong to other people. and that's the case with me and you. you were never mine. but the fact that you kept coming back made the topic of ownership quite redundant.

7/19/2004

like a random pen from the corner store 

gloomy like a london heartbreak, my eyes, this morning, can't get past the fog of the ironbound. what is it you want, i wonder... what do you see across these forgotten puddles? them, the ones hanging out on the corner in desperate need of a fix. you.

next to a puddle is a corner store, and there i pick up a random pen and wonder if in the madness of all that's lost in this city, it managed to find its way to your fingertips. and if even a lost pen can find you, albeit by chance, why can't i? why has it been so long since you led me across the page- told me what to write?

7/15/2004

smoke and mirrors 

i think i know what i want... then i reach for it and in touching it, in holding it, it is no longer what it was because all i knew it as was the thing i could not hold. the magic is gone. i know the secret to the trick. it's all smoke and mirrors; a way of finding motivation in the mundane.

but not with you. never with you. because i held you and it was more than a dream, more than i had hoped. it was even more than i had loved without knowing what to love because you can't do so from a distance, and i didn't know that. i thought i could glance and fall for you from afar because that is the only access i had to you. but then you disrobed, and i smelled and tasted, licked and led my hands to your most intimate of places... places you, yourself, did not venture to... and in having you wholly and complete in that fashion i found that i loved more than i knew how to. and i tried to make it good, and i tried to be as best as i could... but i couldn't be natural with it. and you couldn't fake that you, too, were confused and lost in the new world of emotions we did not know. did not recognize. did not truly know how to love.

i think i know what i want, but it's always that which is beyond reach, and not that which only appears to be so but is actually very reachable, that brings these thoughts out of me. i never can tell the difference. like smoke and mirrors, but now i know there's no magic.

7/14/2004

untitled 

a verdade
como a lua
nua
e tua
perante os olhos vestidos do mundo
e há muito
que em faz sorrir
e que me ajuda a sentir
que perto de ti
tudo se satisfaz
com a paz
de mais um dia

(hiding?) behind the broken branches 

i see you hiding behind the broken branches of a faulted tree. peeking out at the people, cars and things that go past you in the dark. the city is silent. you're forgotten between the leaves and branches. like a bird.

i'm hiding behind myself and a mask of a different emotion. like a shadow with features undefined, you think i don't care, that all the important things you do don't matter.

i lick the back of my teeth. i try to think of something (someone?) else, but that, too, is no good. like the tap water. like the puddles green (with envy?) and mistaken for something else. wearing a mask, perhaps, or just shy.

hiding behind a tree, i see you hiding behind a tree across the street. i don't think you see me, yet. but there's hope. there's hope that the objects of your attention will run their course and that you, now looking for something new, again, will look across the tree, at me hiding behind the broken branches of a faulted tree. forgotten between the leaves and birds.

7/12/2004

nap 

today the rain offers an excuse to sit inside and admire all that gathers outside. from behind the glass i fog up my thoughts, and suddenly it's as if there's a haze coming down on everything. and i shut my eyes, go back to bed. i lost you again.

from me to you, the difference grows throughout. comes around again when you say, "hello," but leaves with you. again. or with your memory. your face coming in and out of focus. and all your pretty outfits welded to my conscious so that i can't look at any piece of clothing without thinking how it would look on you, or how you would look with it.

i don't mind going to you everyday lost and confused to read the meaning of things on your skin and to hear you tell me of the world the ways you see it. yes, i miss that, too. i think of it often on days when my thoughts are fogged up with my own breath, the exhalation of longing.

i drift to sleep, i nap in an afternoon dark enough to resemble an evening just beginning, or a morning yet to win over the previous night. and i hope i see you in dreams. i hope i see you in dreams because you always were like one. your smile coming through the rain.

7/08/2004

shut down 

love, they closed down the spanish bar where we went for after-hours drinks. boarded up and moved on, and what are we supposed to do? what will happen to the memories we left there?

7/06/2004

the worst part of the good-bye 

the worst part of the good-bye is when i don't get one from you. it's when i suddenly miss you and realize you took off and didn't say a word. it's searching for you all through the room, thoughts, dreams, and coming up empty with my hands nowhere near you.

the worst part of the good-bye is looking at you in anticipation of your departure and not saying anything to you. it's a test, to see if you remember me when thinking of that which remains. it's lacking the courage to tell you that i need your good-bye.

the worst part of the good-bye is how empty everything feels without you.

the worst part of the good-bye is watching you go. it's the trail of you i don't follow for fear that i am not wanted where you're going.

the worst part of the good-bye is being alone with my memories.

the worst part of the good-bye is the after-taste of you.

the worst part of our good-bye is not getting one.

ferry and market 

our story is mapped out on the streets of the city and if only i'd learned to see from the start i could have read into the future and perhaps even beyond.

because i am like the park, and speak straight with my silver tongue (even if dressing up every last statement), and aim solely for the destination.

and you bend with your whims and wishes, are clouded with everyone flocking to you, and get lost in between the things that aren't as good as you.

we are like ferry and market - we break only to return to each other.

7/02/2004

the time between thinking of you 

i find that i am missing you less often now. a whole hour might go by before i even think of thinking of you. you're fading slowly like a shadow in the twilight. becoming a whisper. i am losing you to the ways of the days.

but still, when i do think to think of you, the shadow is ever-more pronounced. as hard as it is to see it, i am more aware of it. i miss you less often, but the times i do miss you, i miss you enough to account for the time spent without you in my head.

i wonder if you'll return with the morning sun. that is what a real shadow would do. at least there is still hope. but more than likely i won't know where to find you. you'll be behind me as i face east, and i won't recognize you even if i do happen to see you. you'll be a whisper lost in the noise of this city.
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