anthem

the street sweepers make their morning promenade
these programmed city lights are turning off with graceful disinterest
the dawn seems to resist this ethereal shift change, yet i find a comfort in their predictability.
the city is resetting, returning to homeostasis.

but there’s the clicking of high heels down 8th Ave, creating a rhythm of resilience
two strangers in a alcove at the end of jane street,
locked in a frozen moment of embrace
they echo the city’s resounding refrain:

“i am alive”

we are the neverenders, the outliers.
our lungs are full and eager,
refusing the geared regularity of this machine.
we’re denouncing god while memorizing every hymn we can.
we are saturday’s children and sunday’s gentlemen.

the cigarette smoke always burns my eyes
but i can see the sun poking holes through the sky
i can almost hear the angels resound
or is that just the taxi shift turn around?
bloodless horns blare in the background
and even my sleepless psychosis can’t shake this need to belong

to be born in the gutter
lapping up the rain water until our swollen bellies are restless and ready
we forge ahead toward a new dawn with slicked skin and blood in our eyes
and we tell ourselves the time is now and we believe it somehow.
our bed is a den of worn promises and torn gowns.

yet still the city engine turns
and i’m just attempting immersion
home is a phrase i’m redefining
sometimes i find it in her chicago eyes
sometimes it’s hidden under these new york skies
mostly home lives in the words i write
the comfort of vocabulary and these metered lines
the summation of a single kiss and every rosebud sky
maybe these words can shape my life, redefine the parts of me i thought wouldn’t survive

and now dawn is here, stretching out over the hudson shoreline

and just as the sun also rises, so shall i

(new york, new york)

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About Eric Skelton