other cities in the world seem to age with a sense of grace
but American cities grow into a state of forlornness.
a film of rust and mold plague the surfaces
of neighborhoods once booming in their adolescence,
like the raspy hungover stubble on a drunkard’s face.
smokestacks erected as proud monuments
for winning the west
now stand in sunbaked isolation, a mocking vulgarity,
epitaphs to a hope quickly ignored and forgotten.
graffiti tattoos the train cars and drainages,
flashes of color sprawled across a hardened skin,
providing the only real signs of life in this desolation,
but even they are bleached and faded now,
chipped and lost to the deep wrinkles of the city.
this is the premature aging of American cities
that makes us long for a prairie fire,
a quick end to life turned decrepit.
to feel lonely in another country is expected.
to feel lonely in a new town is understandable.
but loneliness in the place you grow and have grown
can be unbearable, unrelenting,
only truly known in cities that should have never existed,
in cities that no longer want you.