Wildlife charges through the city
like the bulls of Pamplona,
a stampede of death
from a river of life,
a river that flows turbulently,
crashing and slopping.
Nothing can falter before the stampede.
Each step must land solidly,
each step until one's last.
It rains for days on end in this city.
The people peer out under umbrellas.
Nothing 's washed clean; it's soggy & gritty
and brutal as a Kafka novella.
The streets aren't light, but nor are they true dark.
The light isn't absent, just sapped of vim.
The gray that remains is like Fall in Denmark.
Relentless rain is relentlessly grim.
The gutters are glutted with murk and sludge.
The rushing waters can't sweep it all clean.
All work 's drudgery and all walks a trudge,
and there's no sparkle in the pavement sheen.
Do some "sing in the rain?" No, they just mock --
their umbrella flipped out and w/ sodden socks.
A million lives are packed in this city,
and each one struggles to be its own self:
the starving, rotund, ugly, and pretty --
the tailored and those who buy off-the-shelf.
And everyone fails, yet they all succeed
in being different, while being alike.
And they all heal, while they also all bleed,
and almost all would survive a first strike.
Everyone knows someone - just not neighbors.
They love to remain enigmatic at home,
while transparent with those who share labors --
though some want everyone to leave them alone.
A city is a strange place full of strangers,
and those who choose it thrive on its dangers.
Sunlight breaks over the city,
and the people on the streets
remain within the shadows.
But those who turn their heads up
see the vibrant colors,
while those who stare
down to the pavement
drift deeper into shadow.