Cities I Have Walked This Way

(looking for sense in the time map)

Catherine Buchanan

Buffalo, Boston, Manhattan, Dublin, London,

Frankfurt, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Berkeley,

Charleston, Portland, Honolulu, Venice,

Bozeman, Paris, Stockholm, New Orleans,

Hong Kong, Chicago, Apia, Suva, Seattle,

Sydney and Townsville and Auckland, at least

*

Take it to the wall again tonight, bro.

Finish the bottle and the cigarettes.

You’re not there yet. Take it to the streets

long after midnight. At the market

women are sleeping beside their taro.                                       

Taxis are taking the last whores home.

Take it to the waterfront where always

everywhere men are awake with their

cigarettes. Walk it past the police station,

let the back street dogs bark at you.

Take it back to your indigenous city jungle,

walking like a ghost that casts a shadow.

Take it back, reclaim your birthright—

lost nights on the street like a swollen

scabbed-over fist, a bad cup of coffee,

a woman in your brain driving you crazy and

a long walk home where you don’t want to be

because the words won’t begin and

the bottles are empty and the bed

is a succubus. Walk it off, shake it off,

city boy. Disappear in an alley way,

walk through that wall to survive.

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