I spent a decade hating you.
Your gray wings towering above me in the white, polluted skies,
Like a cage, and I
A bird pining for a leafy green place called home.
Your snowless winters tormented my child's soul,
And your stiflingly humid summers aggravated my preteen moodiness.
Only rarely did I ever
Enjoy a casual dip in the puddles left behind by your flash thunderstorms.
In this home I called a prison,
I became more alienated from what is now
The home I ran away from.
Though you are not my home,
And it is not my home,
I have grown to love you more.
I have grown to accept that, though
Your ground is cloaked in concrete,
And your limbs grow straight and cold, a duller
Color of marble,
You fill the void, that lack of color,
With the energy of your people.
With the undeniable vibrations of life in every moment that I live here.
After a decade hating you, I started to appreciate
The product of human creativity displayed in shop windows as "fashion",
And the lights that only appear after sunset,
And the sound of laughter and smell of food that infiltrate
Every bar street, long after midnight.
I have cheered at the sound of motorbikes
Tearing down your highways in the middle of the night,
And marveled at how cheap the metro is
To get from one side of you to the other.
I will be leaving you in a year.
After a decade of hating you, old friend, I must say
I will miss you dearly. And I am sorry
That I have been so blind for so long.
You will not ever be my home.
My home will not ever be my home.
But I have loved the last few years in which
I learned to truly appreciate you.
They may speak of London, LA or New York,
Will always be
The city that never sleeps.