The Cities


This poem appears in the August issue of Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts (page 83-84). Click here to read the entire issue, chock-a-block with quality fiction, non-fiction and visual art.

Two cities live in the City.

One survives on frozen habits
thawed every night–
cell phone alarms, recycled intercourse,
snores, chanted mantra-like.

It’s the city that keeps
offices, banks, coffee shops
and hospitals running
with tired precision.

This city chews on cold, stringy
for the deep-fried Friday
that follows.

The city’s twin blends with the usual city
smoother than cocktail mixes.
It walks with, holds hands of,
gives an ear to
the normal city.

The twin claims
park corners in stealth,
to exhale late-evening

This city doesn’t stiffen at night,
but flows over it–
river-like, turning nocturnal conventions
on their heads, revving up
bars, street corners.
Swinging to music, floating on lights,
jazzing up drinks
with heady alternatives.

It is the city that makes headlines,
with 3AM shootings, gang-war or not,
reminding the City Normal
to better watch out.
Or else.