I suspend disbelief, I do
Pretend for glamour’s sake,
That I’m standing in line, not walking down
Legging capri utopia, but style,
Books, Asian fusion,
And I open my window to outside fire trucks,
Sometimes voices, to pretend I’m not in small-town
I close my eyes to a new, non self-conscious,
Well, it was once a real moment:
In a studio apartment, nervous about my mom
Downstairs, outside, below me
Smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk.
Afraid she’d get jumped when I was eleven, or twelve, or thirteen.
Forgetting she’d lived in New York City
in the 1980s when she was
I didn’t have any fears for her then.
I didn’t have anything for anyone.
I didn’t exist, and I wasn’t afraid
All the time, of something.
I exist now and I watch my back in small town USA,
But I still make wonder visions,
Beautiful, rhetorical, hypothetical
Walks in October five ‘o clock sunshine.
Me, and a book, and take out food walking back to work,
Where my work will be to write this down,
To try my ****-dest to convey what I felt
Out there, on the street.
That self-importance, comfort of the light
In my eyes, and my dark pants, too, they mattered,
And an imaginary cigarette from the ether,
The sun-ray concoction.
It’s almost the exact feeling of sitting on couches,
Next to my aunt’s bubblegum pink ceramics in Brooklyn.
Pretending the one room apartment was mine.
Pretending I could live in such close proximity to a stranger.
Another person, who I may or may not find strange.
Pretending I wasn’t made uncomfortable by the women
Wearing hot dog and hamburger bun bikinis dancing
In kiddie-pools in broad daylight.
How bizarre. While my brother and I played war
Upstairs. “That’s art,” someone probably said, in a
Fenced in small grassy plot in a neighborhood in Chicago.
Later in college, I’d say “the best art makes
us uncomfortable,” and my professor who loves
young adult fiction will applaud me for my incite.
An inherent desire for brass,
And fire escapes, and being
Consumed by tall buildings, and bars
On rooftops is not…
It must be media-induced.
I consumed a fair amount of media
That glamourized and shined up and cultured
Cities for me.
Then I went there and saw that I was fearful,
Yet wanted to feel important inside of something vast.
I want to talk to curators of museums about
Everything I’ve learned and haven’t learned.
I want to impress myself with knowledge of streets,
And towns, and maps.
Out of my element, maybe I am finally ready.
Out of mostly whiteness, most of the time,
Into people I’ve never met, people I never thought
I’d know well, into hoping that I can sit in a different
Kind of circle, in a new conversation,
Wanting to say some sincere things, and
Make some observations in earnest.