The Replacement

Tell me that I don't live here.

Tell me that this broad sky doesn't suffocate low buildings

between its gross expanse and roads as empty.

Tell me that the people who built this city haven't broken spirits

with their failure at humane design.

Georgian Gardens 1

We've bred a conservatism of the heart here,

a reservation against larger things.

I was taught to content myself with hobbies.

The pursuit of desire was for people who could afford their own airplanes.

Dreams happened before marriage.

It is a pathetic replacement for living.

Georgian Gardens 3

I know a building that is decorated with anachronistic sculptures,

where plastic palm trees are wrapped in electric lights and mounted between floors.

They hide during the day, camouflaged by bricks,

but, at night, they light up like signs selling Los Angeles

and shine down on wooden snowmen and a sparse lawn.

Georgian Gardens 2

I was not born to this place.

I do not owe it some allegiance by blood

or another oratory on the nature of place and the human heart.

Those apologetics are for others who feel the unaccountable grip,

the gravity, of an indifferent circumstance.