A pain in my neck,
a strain -- a sprain?
A pain what pain may be,

but how it reminds me
of how I am not the East Village
(too fat; hair too combed;
getting too old?
looking too much
like I come from uptown)
and I am uptown,

but truth be told
(as truth is often not)
I am not of the city
but rather from a place where yellow light
and the smell of humid, heavy rain
are parts of speech for love undiscovered,
forcing a square illusion
into a round truth.

These days, I say,
return me to the beach:
where we used to drink beer
and take off our shirts,
a pale virginity burned
while we lost our sunglasses
in a gulf of want.

Return me, I demand,
to the fields of salt grass,
to the mornings when finding an egret
was winning the lottery,
to the sound of a river
gently passing away.

Return me to what I was:
a child?
a pain?
The strain.
Return me to simpler me,
I beg,
over the roar of honking cabs.

Yet I write this now --
on the D train uptown --
pain in my neck --
a strain -- a sprain?
And the woman next to me,
cautioning her granddaughter says,
"Be careful, sweetie"
as they step over the gap

and I marvel.



Copyright © 2015 John Grimmett. All rights reserved.

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