Between all the signs of modernity —
glass-to-sky, scaffolding, sleek lines —
I scour the streets seeking this city’s ghosts
the old cemeteries are the only places still alive
there, ghosts breathe among trees and birds and earth-scents
elsewhere, cobbles and ancient stones whisper, but silently
their shadows hidden by larger, darker forms
and parasols, slogans screaming brightly.
I did what I could to seek them, these ancient figures,
but so much of them is gone, so much of now is blind to the past
I went down to the river, hoping the water would at least be constant
but even it it is barely recognizable, churned now by motors and fumes.
The heart of this city is a-bustle
everyone moving to their own rhythm
but here and there doors remain slightly ajar, open onto lives past,
hinting at some other world.
Glancing sideways I have seen them in their aloof existence
beyond the hot, dripping streets.