Steel Yourself

Everyday city girls clunk,

Cling shoes, press against handles to stop.


We fling upwards, up beams bred of metal or wood.

Up speed, uptempo, double time until

Herbal tea brews knots in the wood

We sway, singing

city songs. 

Door opening & closing, we chickies move with and against the throng. 


We know how to move in the wind, know how to dance up escalators.

If only I’d turn on some pedometer,

I’d see energy in numeric form,

understand why I chomp so much bread.


Energy functions upstairs,

Through corridors and packed cloakrooms, B1 basements with friends. 

We bemoan walking when it is the function of our legs.


I am a city grid, lit by all the places I’ve fled, urban brooks where even poetry can live.

There are pockets of love, communities in lit windows, rafters splintering, made solid by laughter.

(And she shows you where to look amid the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning

    from Suzanne, by Leonard Cohen)

There is the strained passage of home and away, the perfect peace of together, shared fruit, chipped tooth, and the resisting of decay. There is stored energy and combustion, the gathering of tension.  The mounting decision to stop nursing. 

I am on my way home, through tunnel. Down stations of stairs. Corridors, never ending, twisting. I am digging new ways to get you. I am coming, my loves.

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