City mood

Written with my brother, Antonio Busa.

Concrete can be soft as it folds over the San Francisco hills.
Clouds harden around the rim of the bay,
engulfing us in a world of gray with no mist
—a dry, cool stone,
not uncomfortable.

The city lives between our toes
as we dig our feet in on our path from 9 to 5.
The buildings rumble when the earth bubbles up from the ocean,
and we peek over each other’s computer monitors asking,
“Did you feel it?”

Trees are torn up and replanted, blocks plotted and replanned.
The only sacred thing here in this city is each other’s time,
and we pass it around like bread,
butter it up for warm strangers,
swallow it whole between other engagements.

to just barely catch the train in the morning,
time to talk later because it’s too important to bring up now—
time to meet ends, to show up, to fulfill, to nurture
—time to factor that after-work happy hour into your plans to cook dinner,
time to side-step your neighbors sleeping on sidewalks,
or pause and give a dollar.

Time is sacred.
Sacred, and yet everywhere.
Everywhere, and yet sensitized.

Similar to gravity, time weighs us.
We float away from reality if it leaves us.

Time surrounds you like mountains you don’t notice are there
until you visit your hometown, that Midwestern landscape.
You gaze out the window on your drive from the airport,
and the flatness balks at you like it hasn’t met you before.

Time is so rude.
Time splashes at our boots when we least expect it.

It’s not cold, but your life is frozen.
Self control is all that you notice since she came along.
You’ve just been a dope, but she is the dopest.
Hoped if you could carry yourself forward, then she’d come around
and bury all the angst, but she isn’t ready and you’re not enough.
Then time speeds up, and you play it off the cuff.
Your tongue gets tied. Sundown. Sunrise.
You give another try.

Time is something that you don’t really know you want a lot of,
but you sip at it anyway,
because it feels better than nothing.