Apples crated by the thousands
while a city bustles on two hills,
leaving a valley of quiet, empty storefronts,
and echoes of tourist feet on the commons.
Trees grow persistently wherever allowed.
Older folks cling to dime stores
that no longer exist, along with
shopkeepers who knew everyone’s name.
You can see derision, loss in their wrinkles.
They are listening for songs
that nobody remembers.
Now there are angry young men in the city
much the same as their fathers were
at the same age. But there are allowances
now for the sins that came before.
And a smorgasbord of medicines too.
Angry feminists walk with their cappuccinos
even when the sign says to wait.
Mostly, their mothers did not hold them
enough, though they would not admit it.
Holding them now would be like waiting
for a cactus to draw water in the desert.
Unhappy geniuses go where they are told
with each day being the same
beneath a changing moon.
I am not sure where we fit here, with
our hearts spilling love for each other
and a view of things decidedly romantic
amid a harsh hyper-realist palette.
I ask to be held before we go and you say
nothing is going to happen
in the parking lot at the Arboretum.