The city

Written by: DAVID ELLSWORTH

It is a city with its lurid lights lavishing upon the night

Products hawked in gaudy neon

Street lamps form uniform circles upon the pavement

And traffic signals repeat themselves across the landscape

A man with flat eyes pulls a blanket about him 

And clutches his dog, he puts his shoes beside him

As if remembering when he had a bed

Whores mingle by the fire plug and eye the traffic

Their dignity sold by the hour 

And I walk there toward the same places

As every night

 

Jimmy told me that you came to the café

Even though you asked him to say nothing of your visit

He said you sat at our table and read a book

He took your order of a coffee and asked about me

And he said you looked very sad in that moment and shrugged

And so each night I walk past the café windows

Peering in like a street urchin and praying

To see your face or that you will look up to see mine

But you are not there

And the excitement of hope drains from me like wet ashes

 

I go to St. Joseph’s in the village 

And sit in the dark corner below the choir loft

Hoping you will come as we did each Sunday

But you do not.  You do not come

And I am happy to be in church

To pray for you, that blessings fill your days

And that I might be one of them

Then it is the garish flat where we knew love

To sit by the window and watch the night

Gather in the city like a troubled infant

And to dream of a soft knock at the door

And for our love to come home