One day I will forgive that city
One day I will forgive its wide streets
Its gently arching bridges
Its waterfront promenades
bathed in sunshine
One day I will look at them
and believe their openess
is not another
form of disguise.

One day, I will forgive that city
One day I will believe that those
tramline arteries wrapping themselves
Around it are driven by
a heart which beats
for something more than itself
I will believe that the river
flowing from the lake
Has not seen the warning signs
I have missed,
does not have good reason
to pack its bags and leave

One day, I will see
the way the city nestles
in the mountains
as two equals embracing
their contrasts matching,
one fitting in to the other’s curves
A compund noun of cityscape
not the city making the mountains
its accessory
flattened and decorative
by its side.

I will forgive the interminably punctual trains
which unlike other tracks

Don’t skulk between house backs
In this city which pretends not to have
dark cracks for secrets to hide
I will forgive
The expensively smooth facades
of the banks
And the bankers alike,
Allow them their fantasies
Of living in a city where the sun is always shining.
The sun was always shining when we visited.

Mark Twain once said
Some German words are so long
they have perspective
so I wonder,
do the people of that city have a word
For the perspective you gain
on the city loved by a man you loved
when he no longer loves you
and your love for him has long ago calcified
into hatred and crumbled
Into indifference that would feel like freedom
If there were no dark spots on the map
where you cannot go
So you would like to forgive the city?
Is there a word for that?

A city is more than one man,
It is a cacophony of heartbeats
A great thunder of footsteps
Tracing lives
Made up of a hurricane
Of held breaths and hopes
A billion visions of the same place
Shimmering across each other
It is an aurora borealis
Of charged particle people
In which you and your city story are
 just one tiny speck

A city will give you a space to fit
Breathe in, breathe out and make room for you
For a lifetime,
A year or a night
If only you will let it.

I have learned to love other cities since
Guided through them by kinder eyes,
bigger, smellier, dirtier,
More colourful
than that city ever dreamed.
But still, when that city and I
meet on our own terms,
No middleman, I hope
That maybe, just maybe,
we could be friends.


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