As you walk the streets
of a city like New York,
you hear a polyglot of languages,
and closing your eyes you
might have no idea where you were.

Listen carefully, eavesdrop
on conversations, imagine the stories
they are telling, the joys
and heartbreak laid bare before you,
half heard, half filled in
to make the story palatable to you.

Life in the city is life in a wholly
parallel universe, one in which
the characters speak only sound bites
and all meaning is transient
in the ear of the beholder.


She said,
“You’re breaking my heart,”
as though
it was a small twig which,
stepped upon,
splinters with a small pop,
pieces flying
in opposition, lost on the forest floor,
waiting patiently
for the next errant step
to further
subdivide until the bits
are indistinguishable
and slowly rot into the soil.
I said,
“My emotions are running away,”
as though
they strapped on Saucony’s
and fled
into the night, dodging
among trees
until they grew ever smaller
quickly receding
into the all-engulfing void.