While the City Sleeps

An old poem I found that I enjoyed.



Outside and alone at 2am.
It was then I felt like a shade.
At that moment there was only me.
I had no friends then.
No family.
Just me and a sea of street lights and empty roads.
Darkened windows as the city slept.
Slept like I couldn’t.
Slept like I wouldn’t.

I could dance in the orange glow.
I could bask in the ever shifting green-yellow-red as the cars never came.
But I was just a phantom.

The kiss of drizzle was cool against my skin.
Yet I’d never felt more transient.
Ageless yet instantaneous.
Wandering. Watching. Waiting.
But for what?

At 3am the streets wouldn’t tell me.
The wind only whispered empty promises.
The trees rustled autumn longings
echoing across the empty yards.
And I echoed, too.
Empty just the same?

Yet I was full of the night. Full of its magic.
Its pregnant promises calling.
Full of whimsy and curiosity.
Shadows dancing.
Stories gathering.

How could I be so empty and full together?

At 4am, the sky gave up.
The rain tried to wash everything away,
but it couldn’t wipe me clean.
Did it think me a stain?
A blot on its beautiful brilliant canvas below?

I didn’t ask.
It didn’t tell.
We just watched one another.

At 5am, I broke.
My own rain couldn’t do any better.
Still empty. Still so full.
I found that place.
Doors and windows dark and closed.
I could peer at the lives inside.
I could wonder which I belonged to.
I could wait.

But it’s 6am.
I’m sick of waiting.
I don’t want to watch anymore.
I’m tired of this sickening feeling of being empty-full.

So I’ll light up those windows.
I’ll stir the lives inside.
I’ll find which ones are mine.
Next time.


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