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I’m not a tourist

I’ve seen the lake, I said
and sighed
It is different
and the same
The waves do not compete here
with the voices who would capture them
compress them down
into bites and bytes
and Alexa-play-soothing-sounds-of-the-seas

Solitude has its place
and silence its time
but the chimes of my friends laughing
the solace of a chance meeting
no schedule to mind
That, too, holds comfort
the thrum of the city is music
and it can hold the sacred
and profane
as well as nature, red in tooth and claw

I long for the passing-by
of familiar block
with new graffiti
as my shoes pace pavement

I yearn to hear the birdsong
of staccato honks of cars
and half-heard conversations
of drunks
percussion in the clack of billiard balls
in bars
with just a hint of danger inside
and out

I pine not always for swishing branhces
but for the strange quiet
of the late night diner
The clink of dishes behind
the swinging door
and the labored breath
of the sleepless staff

I’m not a tourist here
or anywhere
but I can sense my belonging
in this throng
of pressing bodies
sweating booze
breathing smoke
squinting under neon

and my chest rises and falls
with the whoosh
of each car
speeding through a red light

And the lake hugs it all
It is different
and the same
and for now
it can wait for me

Filed under: Poetry | | Comments Off on I’m not a tourist

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