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A faint humming,
almost imperceptible,
a song of common noises
and deep nostalgia
for things lost and
hopelessly familiar,
plays in the background
as I try to resume moving
after a fall.

(I haven’t forgotten
how to walk.)

The same traffic.
Tongues bitten
in mid-speech
against injustice,
trained that way,
bound to silence,
rising to a hushed cry
and bleaching
the afternoon light.
The same shadows
on concrete.
And I see them
not as the same people,
a little more aloof
and from a greater distance,
some dreamless
and dead inside,
and some with damp fire
pushing restless against
their finiteness.
I read their intentions
like verses trapped
with smoke in the glass
of their bodies
jostling through the crowd
(their ambitions and morals
clanging on impact).
Some of them have looked
the status quo in the eye
and made up their minds
to pitch camp
and live next to it
and thrive in it.
The others
stay awake at night
troubled and visited
by ambiguous nightmares.
I see the dark circles
under their eyes.
They wake up to tomorrow
with capitalist mayhem
waiting with open arms
and sharpened claws.
They face the day
like all the days before it.

But I,
a thread yanked free
from the dark fabric
of that tired urban rhythm,
simply observe them
with a longing
slowly turning cold
as time shovels dirt
into the space where
I used to be.
And the faint humming
stays with me as I
break the fourth wall
with a curtsy and
a kiss to the wind,
and walk away
to my destiny.

“Melissa” by photographer Beyti Barbaros


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