The Guarded City

The City of Dreams lies as a lie,

a smoking, stinking lie,

a lie that no one else dares to contradict.

The City is filled with dust and more dust, with trash among the scraps.

Forgotten things, let go without a thought.

Life pulses nearer and more powerfully here, yet I loaf

In my apartment safe, and crowded. With furniture and

Christmas presents, my family, my stinking

Grandmother, I am crammed into a heated, lifeless hole.

I wish to shed my soiled, lousy and darkened skin, and step into

another piece, like from a crumpled dry dress to clean linens.

I am slowly dying of thirst, languor, and

a strange limbo of anger and complacency.

Life is more so bold around here, yet I am kept out of that

preferable chaos, and am locked up in a shabby

Potemkin village. An asylum. A place of refuge to those who have

rested in the streets. My tongue dried out like an Egyptian mummy,

readied for the wrapping, the burial. The cold, pleasing silence.

Life is more open, more giving to the senses, yet I am

unconscious. Incapable of true emotion and passion. Those things

died before my body did. Like that of an old maid at a few decades

before her time. The grave darkness that I cannot see.

The perfumes of rot I cannot smell, and the slimy worms poking through

what used to be skin–I never knew they were there.

I rise, then fall back, then I sleep. No use of moving

around in a place this small. A place not used for anything but rest.

Should I move but now, I shall be infected with insomnia,

Intrusive life flowing up my veins,

Claustrophobic. I lie still, in this

City of Dreams. What used to be and is to be, what I