It is a wonder that my eyes
may see the city from such
varied perches, day to day:

By bus–elevated so that
I may gaze indulgently
into wet, dirt-caked
cavities of construction sites
hidden when I am

By bike, so that the flawed
contours of road, frenzied
traffic patterns spill soft
city breath on my cheeks,
so stilled when I am

By foot, so that I may watch,
observe, stop at the apex of the
Walnut Street Bridge and see
(for the first time) clumps of
bright clothing, remnants
of bicycles, water bottles
sticking to the concrete
embankment below.

This poem was written on January 25, 2012, before I could even conceive of moving out west.



When Angie comes around,
I know it’s almost time to leave.

She crinkles her nose at me
when I’ve got fifty tabs open
in a browser, while she shimmies
behind my chair to collect
my plastic bag of paper & lemon peels.

Go home, she insists playfully with a gesture
at an invisible watch on her wrist.

She shows me pictures from her
native land with a longing I admire.
Live to work here, she says, No
way to live.

Angie sees everything, knows everything.
Quiet observer, kindest heart.

Today, I told her that I’m leaving.
No, she said. And then she said it again.

And then: I won’t see you anymore?
She sighed & kissed me on the forehead.


Giant square holes
of missing earth
Caramel mud

And the great striped
barrel of the cement truck

Painted like a carnival
sliding liquid armor
into the ground

stopping traffic
starting anew