The rust-colored brick tenements
testify to the city’s history,
shifting masses of tenants
absorbed with daily drudgery,
jobs, errands, rendezvous.
Inside each apartment, walls
of mementos, souvenirs, prizes
down the long tube of lost memory.
It’s a precipitous fall into desolation,
a short fall into mistakes and error.
Those who have risen from the scene
into another, richer life, look back
to where their parents and siblings
are immobilized, prisoners of inertia.
They feel there is nowhere on earth to go,
but joy is there at times, out of the doldrums.
The silence of the aching heart
pulses with anticipation, with hope.
No one can dampen the enthusiasm
of the truly alive, yearning for a lucky hit.
There is a sense of relief and a future breath
on a rooftop, staring down the setting sun.