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  • i met you beneath the surface of providence, rhode island
    you were a train tunnel.
    your mouth nailed shut with wooden planks,
    except for the socket of an eye.
    You opened it just wide enough for me to go through,
    your tears pooling at the entrance,
    lapping against your railroad spine.

    the arch of your body
    was once the shape of going,
    today it’s the shape of gone,

    i know you had a hemorrhage long ago,
    well tonight i am not here to bring back your blood stream,
    i’m just a tightrope walker across your railroad spine,
    one of the hundreds that have wandered here before me.
    we called ourselves discoverers of strange abandoned lands,
    and i wonder
    in the drip drip of all the absences you hold in your chest
    if you ever welcomed any discovering.

    tonight, i will write no messages on the walls of your ribcage to proove that i was here, in this year.
    i know years mean nothing to you.

    tonight i will only listen.

    this city created you
    this city buried you alive before i was even born,

    tell me,
    what did it feel like
    when the city government
    fenced you up, and declared:
    “you do not belong to city anymore?"

    in the space between each heartbeat,
    each opening and closing of my mouth in your damp air,
    i listen to the wisdom that only a buried body can know:

    if i can decipher it at all, you said:

    "it feels like
    the city is severing off pieces of it's own body,
    this leg is now "uninhabitable"
    this organ now "untenanted"
    this memory is now "unnecessary"
    it feels like...

    i'm at the center of a hurricane
    with an invisible eye that only i can see through.
    i see you,
    your daily routine you carry out above me,
    your trembling body
    as you make your way inside of me.

    the wisdom that only a buried city knows is:
    everytime you leave me,
    another you will come back.

    when you rise above me,
    and l
    i collect the rain and the sewage water,
    that you let drip through my roof,
    when you come back,
    i collect you too,
    turn my collections into a stalagmite city,
    each stalagmite inching a milimeter a year

    it’s been two decades,
    but i know that’s just a heartbeat.
    i forget what time is
    when i hold only the sound of an train in my chest,
    but there is no train,
    there is no passenger,
    there is no life,

    there is only you.
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