People are like cities here
But you’ve always only been yourself, haven’t you
Rooftops in Brooklyn got
Nothing on your sneer 
Or twinkle of eye you don’t yet know you’ve got.   

At least this time around.   

Hipsters have their babies now, 
Canon satchels
Warby Parkers
‘Manhattan on Safari’ 
That’s what we’ll call it
Dickie couture
Yves Saint Laruarnt
Cut offs tucked into running shorts
Fanny packs are back
You’d think they’d run out of ideas by now
Scuffed shoes
On
Lorimer, though I counted them all 
All
Scattered and flying through like stars, or
Streets I used to stumble
Or like there in our L.A.,
The houses that belonged to Simon Cowell. 
They say he’s drinking beer, 
You never liked the taste
You prefer a whiskey Erasure.   

There’s still magic here I’d forgotten, you know. 
Mothers pressing hands on baby’s ears, 
Smiles down under on the platform,
As their C to High Street’s rolling in
The baby keeps on sleeping. 
Poet Fathers with Picasso sons
Cardboard signs 
‘Love and care our Earth’
I want to see you hold a child’s hand.   

I ride a train towards another person’s home,
Another man I’ll fuck for the view. 
Where are you now? 

I’m somewhere under still,
Someplace between 14th and up.
You’d hate the heat,
At least the way it’s been
Swamp dick, a musty ass
The desert suits us more.   

Here there’s other men.
Different flours,
Water always never tastes the same
Depending on the hangover 
And or the avenue
These island boroughs have stayed the same
However
There’s now a Starbucks on Allen and something or other
God this heat 
Week-long Summer. 
Beads of sweat that taste of tears
down here
I know you don’t like those
And yet 
I’m beginning to think I need them
If not to love song 
Then to plea for you
For you to hold me in your arms
For me to know you mean it tight
It’s not an errand 
But something that you want
For me
Or for us
Or for you so I’ll keep
The train’s a station away
It’s getting hotter by the second
Breeze of the underground 
Break this Earth I stand on for a living
That’s a living
Living to want to Live
I beg of you
Submit my fever dreaming heart into 
Knowing that you’ll want me back 
So that this home I wish to 
Show and brag with you
Will simmer from Hudson river aqua into rat-trash fumes
Into yesteryear until it’s finally gone.
Even if you only say it I’ll think of it as true, 
I’ll hold off that demon air in corner number four
And tell my aches 
I’ll still be wanted after Christmas Season
After parties
When Winter People are no longer wanted
And tossed with flipsides of high life
‘At least we had prosecco.’   

There was something about cities, here,
I was working hoping leading towards concluding with, 
Something like the other shoe.   

I wish you were parked outside my house like that one time,
The time I pretended I wasn’t home. 
I wish I were home and looking out the window
Watching you
There was something to you hoping
An
Embodiment of something 
Someone 
Wanting me.  

I suppose.
Let’s just meet at the Grove? 
Valet in the parking garage
There’s a gin bar I’ve been meaning to try,
They say Constance Wu is fantastic in Hustlers. 
Maybe cities are the people you do things with. 
I don’t know what that makes people.   

It’s too easy calling you L.A.   

Re other men, 
I’ll swallow all explanation for later
Please trust me,
For I will no less and inevitably self-destruct 
The way you know I can
The way that irritates
Yet makes you think you’ve done it right,
Your stronghold my frailty 
Kamikaze dreams of arms
And laughter 
Plastic cup cupboards
And overcooked falafel.  

I wish they had Mamoun’s in Chelsea.
I’d love to watch you act as if it’s something you’ve had better somewhere else. 

Your honks
Now come with trigger warnings
Right of way to shark boy and his three-wheeled scooter
Mommy’s on the Gram
Pleasantries her traffic light 
Right Fake on Go
Daddy’s pushing stroller for the akita  

Your Uniqlo’s swapped floors
Women take the stairs now
Must be the patriarchy.
Your men no longer navigate the elevator
In fact they think it’s theirs 
Pizza parties fifteenth floor
This hotel is for them too.   

You’ll no less bring back cargo pants
Guy Harvey tees to follow
And then froyo 
Post-modern Tasti-D-Lites 
But like pus I love watching you
seethe under pressure, this island your pore.  

Bile-puddled paths
Neighbor nestled nooks
For retweets and spritzes
And avocado toast that doesn’t fucking belong.  

You’re growing soft, you old fart
Soft and pudgy
Pop-up shops for drove-in Four-Wheeler Photo booths
Chino shorts on your mother’s credit card
Self-fulfillment you’re all Trumps. 

You’re working on your trash
Your notice taken with the rats
Your bins overflowing still
You keep digging yourself into a maze.   

Astounding really
I hope you’re proud and loud
No Grace filter for your Selfie? 
That’s really at the marrow, isn’t it
You think you’re hyper cool and
Hyper-safe
I was roofied once in a ghost building now a Gelateria
You walk now with your head facing the opposite direction Slower now
No jaywalking now
And yet you’ve become indignant
Dare I say boring
Good job my Prince
You’ve turned yourself into Vegas.   

Fuck you. 

I dream of you in daze
Into nights when I see you
And I’m reminded of the
Familiar fear of never worrying – 
I’m used to worry: 
It’s a pocket pet I’ve fed over the years
With years
And stamps 
It’s a 
A Bracketed lapse in living
Where I see the known ways I could hurt 
You, possible even 
Break you
End us Tear away the familiarity and turn it
Into shadow.   

I worry.   

There’s many ways I’ve gone about it
Before
Many ways repeated
Many more ready for another run.   

I could sleep with another man. 
Perhaps a friend
Or worse a foe
Get you to worry our one on one’s got us 
Turned on you, Us
Knowing more now of the more of you
You chose to give us
I’ve done that.   

I could do ayahuasca in a suite in New Orleans
Northernmost city of the Caribbean
Seeing all the alien Gods
Or the insides of my coffin
Both the box I’m in but also the body that I am
And see what needs feeding then
‘Not you’ ‘No you don’t supply’
I’ll return to Beachwood and sit in my chair 
And ghost you into phantom yesteryear
Yeah, I’ve done that too.   

I could love you only when I’m pistol-
Ready, Bulleit made, foggy-brained
And say it till it’s obvious and 
Predictable
And text you after that I’m gonna 
Marry you
And drunken-drive to you with 
Twenty dollars worth of dollar Del Taco 
And make you watch 
Videos of 
Me
Or Stevie and pass out and half cum in the Morning
And
slowly over time
Mistaken hangover for you and loving you the most and
Decide that I need re-centering and
Distance (but never from the bottle) 
And worse! –
That all of it was only what had ‘happened in the night’
That’s been me.   

I could touch you.   

Shit that was the other one, no
You like it when I’m holding onto us –  

I could hit you.   

Worse, I could say the things a person isn’t allowed to say
The dagger proclamation
Of my silver-tongued knife
Wielded by this Monkey on my back I’ve 
Forgotten about otherwise 
And once it’s in you I’ll twist 
And 
Let
It
Pour
That’s all been me, too.   

I could be an executive at a studio
Sign on your mortal enemy 
The Nemesis 
In spite of you –
Get him two seasons 
Something
About how he’s misunderstood but 
Still molests at Akbar or the Dome
Going buddy-buddy with him to dinners
Or at your favorite spots
Karaoke singsong, songs about paninis 
Or Pre-teen demigods who think 
They’re bad guys. 
And I’ll play nice with you
Because it gets you going
Gets me ahead
Oh
Always nice
Nice nice nice
You hate nice
‘boy, can’t that betray a soul?’ you say
Yes sir, I agree –
Edit: No, I probably wouldn’t go that far. 
I don’t know that I’m even capable
Keep it, as they say.   

I could keep believing what I fear is true
The spring of all my doubts that
I am
Not good. 
Particularly at being good which is
Different than just good enough for you
I worry.   

There’s a lot of things I wouldn’t do
Anymore. 
A lot of things I’m incapable of
Maybe even
Tired of trying?
Getting away with. 
Weak-kneed but in the stomach with dry eyes
Over
The galivanting
And the schmoozing 
I just want home already I worry. 
But also
Maybe there’s also something there? 
In that? 
In that
I dunno
You know me better sometimes
You’re the one who reads me
Has to see me I’m just living ‘me’
I
Just
Think it, will you  

West elm sofas. A loveseat. 
Something local for a coffee table. 
Dinners. 
Dinner in general 
Memberships to Wagville
Never Disney+
And
The movies you’ve wanted to show me. 
The words I’ve wanted you to know. 
Maybe the place has a bathtub. 
Two bed. 
Luxury tomb. 
Patio parties and proud soirees and
Top shelf liquor with that CVS discount
Cluttered glove compartment stuffed with receipt scarves. 
A little less drinking
Maybe at the start at least until doors 
Close more
And I’m working when you’re watching
Or I’m watching while you’re gone
And it all goes back to what it used to be 
Before we promised something new
I worry.   

For when it’s done and the dog is 
passed and stuffed 
makes a doorstop and you’re
Thinking Hancock Park or Paris and I’m thinking New York, Brooklyn or dead
A love is a lifetime I worry.   

But  

What if something happens 
Something different dare I say
Something weird that could happen
Doesn’t happen
I don’t see 
Happening
To me
But just me I haven’t thought of us that way –   

What if we grow old together? 
There go promised memories of your
Hand holding mine
Scratching the back of your head
But now –
A forever-adding flipbook –
Our same hands
But with new spots Thinner skin. 
Closer every day towards our Wither Away
The chances of who will fade from us
First. 
For to die alone is to go in peace
But in the arms of a lover, their forever agony. 
Is all of that worse? 
Is to love to know what will be lost? 
Is it to hold it regardless of these
Boundaries in time,
Angelino mountains,
And drown our lungs in the vapor of now?

Of-fucking-course it is.

I worry. 

Noise of the wood
A clink with a spoon
Skies in its colors
Mahogany to quartz
And into it too
Like pillars of salt yet
Rested on sand   

A dinosaur.  

Bark cut-ted to glass
Shard-ing jewels, city towers
Their speckled roofs of different heights
Grooves and floor to ceiling heights  

Helicopter pads, too. 

Just   

Jurassic tenacity with teeth mazes, maps needed
With Latitudes and Longitudes
The stump 
Now that’s the hemisphere  

For these crystals of a crystal of time
Now polished and chromed over
Drilled into bits for a hose
Then gutted and fitted 
And set in a corner  

A sheltered space
Protected from the meteors that first
Turned this tree to rock
And
Left forever to be ignored 
Or set next to the garden gnome

$2804.

Last night you told me you were going to be married 
That you’d found your choice 
your settlement 
That you’d known fear and 
found the means of which to live with it 
A chosen partner for the shadows 
Except for the ones deepest in your skull 
A willing commitment 
towards the fires 
except the ones you light with your feet 
A tangible hold on purpose, apparently.   

A determination towards happiness, never mind to ride of grace  Your sincerity lacks subtly.  

Scythe to my scalp 
Rebar to my veins 
Napalm your wax of Paris 
The holes you’re trying to fill in were dug with your very fingernails 
Tears in your styrofoam cup, let it settle let it muddle a 
molotov cocktail of sympathy and of drastic proportions
I’ve never trusted what you call reliant. 
Thrown towards your subject of protest
I think that’s me  

The me in you
Or rather the you in me in the back of me
the me in you you only know for certain –  

How you’ve hurt and betrayed 
and laid it all on 
me and with your sincerity you hope 
and aim 
for alleviation of your character 
You think to tell me is to bury you, to command the pyre
to hold in what we were
what you are, once again, what I am 
I am the ghost and
you can’t dream the weight of these shackles that hold in all that is long and of knowing you, your fists to my cheek one thing
the way you told me my days were limited, the same
But how I was New York  

Fuck
Your sorrow and earnest degradation
of what’s left of my heart
And lately what that’s been
A yearning for more
The desire for cliffs and empty oceans of Moab
Looking at mountains as the reefs
they once were or islands belonging to a Jurassic sea
Now
On my last night in heaven you spew me your words of Hell
That it is with him you’ve decided happiness
Though it’s with memories of us you’ve preserved freedom.   

God
Though how I envision it.
It.   

Ours
You’d
We’d have,

Polished concrete. 
White linen. 
Ironed. 
A southern barbeque.  

Rooftop in Red Hook.
We had dancing pandas  

And
poFinally  
You’d rapture me  

Yeah.  

Sans shirt or contentment though I fetishize a tux  

A B-n-B.   

Probably off of an AirBnB.   

Edison bulb lights and mason jar tartars.  

The songs we used to dance with brood  

Now caricatures of our adolescence and not what either of us have remained.       

That’s as far as I usually get.

Little kids are playing soccer
The ones acting like I used to
Tangling themselves in goalie nets 
The parents we never turned into never-minding. 
A daddy plays his boombox
For the crowd 
Empire of the Sun, remember them
His playlist blaring louder now
You know the one
Remember when we’d heard it 
My first time was magic but for you a chore
Over at that spot we used to know 
That Extra Fancy
The one where a lady-turned-mommy served us Gansetts 
And the lighting looked good enough for oysters?  

Do you remember Steve?
That dude
The one
The guy from Full Circle 
Cracked us tall boys of Genesee I think
Fixed us skee-ball that one time, then handed over tally chalk for scores?
I think saw him wearing Chinos
Outside of Artichoke
The one on North 7th 
By Starbucks
By the Dunkin’
By the train
And fussing with his iPad
Sweat-back looking grody
Did you know they’d one day grow into what we’re close to becoming?  

I suppose I never thought ahead,
Too much looking down
My hand with yours
Or any time we walked along something new For me 
Polished concrete
Or that hallway towards Larry Lawrence
They closed it down
It’s gone for good.       

There’s also people here

Who look like what we used to do
Doing things we used to be
Though now they’ve got their White Claws
And Triple-Lens phones
Lounging on our bench-shaped stones
And dreaming upon towers
We never knew or cared would one day exist for them to ponder on
This never was our spot, was it?  

Wishing wells erode
Over time
And yet there 
Still remains,
Some times at least,
Yesteryear precipices
Those Mesas on top of pillars 
Floating glad-ware lids for canyons 
Too large to fresh-seal shut for good. 
These plateaus are carved around, 
Speckled relics sometimes close 
But often far in way
Luckily still
Lucky Dog and Allswell 
They’re still there
The promenade at Brooklyn Heights 
I suppose that one’s all me  

The ones once ours 
Were they really that
Or just new for me and still fun for you?
Did we fall upon a world of our own disgraces 
Camel Blue kisses
Or without regard
A concoction of totems familiar enough for you to bleed freely? There remains however
Our temple of our Four Corners, though.
You remember it, don’t you
You must
How could you forget
I won’t allow you to
Their Grand Ferry Park
Our Sapporo’s in paper bags
Hands held after
Even after fights 
Outside Vanessa’s 
The one by you
Transplanted from the village
Oils for the hangover.  

The smokestack there Still remains 
The bench where words were said
You said something Like on your roof
I’ve never forgotten
PJ knew it too
I knew her after you but
‘You are this city to me.’  

Two times you’d told me
The first a proclamation
The second a surrender to decision 
To you leaving 
We won’t go there yet
But the first my God
Muttered whisper ignites the waterworks
Lullaby under bridge’s rumble 
Commotion of stampeding thunder
You mumble
Soft rain in Spring
But Spring between Barrow and Morton only
I look up under bridges
Because on top is where you showed me where the river bent
You hold me
And the Hasids are watching
And the Freedom Tower’s going up
And the Empire’s not knowing what reigns will trump its spire.
The Domino sugar factory was still there, wasn’t it? 
Remember the cranes? 
Or Glasslands for rock? 
And the rock
Gone
Mostly 
You’d think this space was separated with glass
No touching.  

Camel Blue’s from your pocket
Another Sapporo. 
Clouds of smoke…
Though with certainty we’d know
It’d all soon change.
We knew we’d leave. 

The geotag was ours but so soon 
These towers would be new again
And they are 
Bleaching skyline and our promises
Into something out of Mars.  

The playlist is still going.   

Mommy’s thrown a football 
To her little boy 
‘Good one, Adam’
They’re playing sports now
The ones who’d grovel for a taco at our Union Pool
No, Theirs.

Perhaps they always did.
Grow, I mean
Grow into something they had to be, by choice or missed train
That shaped into them Gwenyth Paltrow yuppies with cleats and doggy-walking apps.
Perhaps I never noticed
Seeing now
As city people grow
And move and have
And watch and grow I held on expecting it to stay the same 
For a dream of you and me
Perhaps Should LA ever burn
We’d have concretes where Blue Bottle used to be,
Remember when that was new?
How’re your wedding plans coming along?   

Wishing wells erode over time and 
Yet there still remains
Our chiseled
Relics of the beaches for which we would lay for even dead Winter’s Sun. 
People like rivers and water, I
I wish
That these canyons
Came with drains
So once all was dry I could climb down and spelunk
Maybe then I’d find
The reasons why you left me 
After choosing me
Your City
Your place, apparently, 
But yes,
Your ghost,
Searching the streets that led us through our high lives I haunt them now,
Right now
These mesas
And these bars of cities we once knew,
As if for the first time, and always that
Whiskey’s tasting old.

There’s a city in the cliffs
Where at night I know you wish to hear
Yourself as silence. 

There are the birds in the cracks that swarm 
With kamikaze formation during
The day,
Singsongs of war and territory, 
Fights for nests in holes 
Once Sprouted springs 
Of sandstone rain. 

There are the crickets of the setting sun  
Layered chirps sounding like a river’s near, 
Sonic bowings on their wings, 
As Earth as mulch or air, 
Constant and assured. 

Crumbles echo
Down go fallen rock
One squirrel, 
Scraping ground far above on heaven’s ground 
Pebbles drop and they flee
Cascade towards the bed of their canyon,
Yearning with
Pounces of desire,
They scream 
Like you, they want them known.

The shivering leaves in the dead of Sun — 

Too tired for the siren glow of the rising moon. 

They’ve all calmed. 

The crimson of our setting star,
Its reprise of mauve and marigold, 
All has calmed and settled for you,
You
Now
Standing in the city in the cliffs
Back turned from the shadows of these relic tales  
The ruins of the Anasazi – 

Not a breed of man but neither the translation of ancient man, 

Its definition, the term, the term’s definition
Needs defining. 

But you don’t know that do you? 

The Hopi neé Anasazi, 
Neé Ancient man, 
They too knew that cities become tombs. 

Like Pompeii, 
Present day LA
Mausoleums of traded resource, 
The emboldened passion for survival and luxury, 
Dried corn and roasted yucca, 
IG stories, DSLR, 
They’re all the same to you. 

Your phone is your kiva, 
Your veiled pleasantries desiring affection and attention, 
The need to be seen your mortar. 

You hear yourself in silence, 
Amongst an orchestra of ghosts
And yet
Your eyes scream towards your Black-mirrored ally, 

It’s not enough to be alone
No, you need them all to see you alone. 

You take pictures of your feet at the 
Grand Canyon
Then face your back towards its Sunset 

To ensure the colors you want other
People
To know you’ve 
Seen came out the way you wished to have truly experienced it. 

You edit to form, 
Edit towards expectation, 
Never mind the reality you’re given.