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The past that binds us
no longer exists,
or at least, all tangible proof
has been wiped off,
painted over,
carried away in pieces
when you packed into
meticulously labeled boxes
the reality that used to breathe
in the space where
our mutual betrayal
took place long ago,
although we both like
to call it by different names.

It’s all gone now,
the partitions for the cubicles
where my sense of oppression
paced like a caged animal,
that regularly polished glass case
where you showed off
your precious awards,
four of which I won for you,
those gizmos at all the doors
that registered with a beep
the exact second we left and entered
to compute each payday
how much we were owed,
all those powerful machines
with which some of the most
brilliant minds of my generation,
at your bidding,
created magic and turned
it over to you to do with
as you pleased.

All of that is no longer there.
All of them have left,
I hope, to create magic
somewhere else.
Nothing remains but an empty floor
to be rented out to someone else
at a steep price,
in a premier office building
in a city where dreams are dreamed

and sometimes spat on

that, and, I guess,
some questions that will never
be answered, filed in drawers that
are no longer where I last saw them,
and a million anecdotes and
old conversations that will
from now on be floating
in the void where
intertwined lives used to be,
scattered in the memories
of two hundred displaced employees
on their two hundred new,
different paths,
without a physical place to run to
if they ever get homesick
and wish to visit

a hole in the city
scraping at the sky.

“Concrete Valley” by photographer Anna Varona


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