Forget the wild weeds along the river
and the dirt paths dividing the mountains.
Let me embrace the city,
its rotten canals and its tankers. I will ride
the trolley wobbling along Erie Avenue
like some wild hog, sniffing the ground
for its hole. I will remove
the bloody aprons from the men
at the slaughter house - the smell
of burning fat settling on their rubber boots.
I will condemn the asbestos factory
where laborers wittle down to nothing:
transparent skin with a cage
of veins locking in the souls.
I will collect in the light and the dark
as a new lyric envelopes
the city I once betrayed.