working away

stuck in strange cities

to sit in bars knowing nobody

eating alone in restaurants

or more tv in dead hotel rooms

I’d go walking

not hoping to find

but to see what was there

how the place got built

there is always a river

at the bottom of town

the older architecture

& as I’d rise up taking corkscrew turns

round & around the city streets

the place would slowly unfold

here the place of artisans

working districts one time slums

being gentrified coming up plums

there the old shopping centers

butchers grocers hardware stores

the old mom & pops drop in shops

selling booze detergents high price cans

holding out against the high end places

in the shiny new cut price palaces uptown

until finally feet aching

I’d head back to the hotel go to sleep

& the next day they’d say:

you went where?

don’t you know that’s a dodgy part of town?

& you smile quietly to yourself

thank you for that

but you weren’t around

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