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Poetry #34
(published April 5, 2001)
The Baedekker Author Addresses the Floating City
by Melanie Kenny

Writing you has not been easy.
You are always chasing after strays,
neglecting the well-behaved,
even—dare I say it—loving citizen.
A shadowed turn took me further than planned,
and I came upon you softly in the unmarked alley
of another city lacking your distinction.
I stumbled, now afloat—
breathing in the scent of wet stone.

I know you have words, not just the music
of water hushing in your canals.
Your mark is strongest in the newborn,
the map of your heart clearly revealed
in each untried palm.
Yet when I try to trace it , I find nothing,
not even a keyhole in a long-sealed door.

I believe you are out among us,
that some even hear your voice.
I have seen them, heads bowed to the ground
with the weight of your attention.
I am done with cobblestones,
done with the market crowd.
You will not elude me.
I am waiting.

from The Floating City

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