It takes a while for the city to remember you.
You were the one who left, after all.
As if the city were a vast ship
You feel it roll on now unfamiliar
Swells of commerce, your step uncertain.
Have you been gone so long
A voice asks. It is the type
Of conversation strangers overhear.
Walking past the diner you see
Your city body, just a few blocks ahead
But lose it in the crowd. Underground
At the turnstiles it swipes its pass
While you fumble in your pocket
For change. Someone is tuning
An instrument and about to sing.
You are reaching back in your pocket
When someone puts a dollar into your hand.
It is your city body. The first notes
Of the city’s song are subway brakes.
The train stops like a dollar dropped
On velvet and the city drifts out to greet you.
Welcome back, welcome back, you hear a voice say
And it is your own voice.