I am a city by the sea sinking into a toxic tide.
I've been scattered in pieces, torn by conflict, mocked by laughter, washed down in drink.
In alleyways I sweep myself up out of garbage and broken glass.
It’s here in all the pieces of my shame that now I find myself again. 1
Manhattan sinking like a rock into the filthy Hudson, what a shock. They wrote a book about it, they said it was like ancient Rome. 2
1 Rainer Maria Rilke, “II,2” (excerpts), Rilke’s Book of Hours, trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy, Riverhead Books, New York, NY: 1996, 2005.
2 Lou Reed, “Romeo Had Juliette,” New York, Sire, 1989.