The City that Speaks for Itself

I am a city of obtuse angles,
Fading pastel shades,
Fire escapes running zigzag
Down to backyard plots
Overgrown and littered with debris.
I contain a wealth of peeling paint,
Rusted chain-link fences,
Abandoned automotive carcasses,
And sunlight glinting
From soot-stained windows.
Vegetation sprouts up forcefully
Through chinks in my encrusted armour.
My pulse pounds through water mains,
Electric lines, telephone wires,
And subway tracks.
I spread my streets defiantly
Across the hunchback land.
See me breathe my daily fare
Of vanities and aspirations,
Kindnesses unnoticed or remarked
Upon, dialogues and diatribes.
I testify through many mouths,
Each voice carried on the wind
That blows in from the ocean.

©2016 Michael Fraley

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