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Finally, after twenty-some years, I return

Stay at a passable hotel

Hardly able to sleep, early morning I stare out the window.

My eyes caress the jumbled, dirty rooftops,

Ears drink in the roar and sirens of business as usual.

I jump up.

Machine black coffee can’t dampen my heart.

I force open the graceless, miniscule terrace door,

Wedge myself outside

Transfixed.

Breathe in the city bouquet--

Heady car and cab fumes

Sweet spicy stench of vendor-cart hot dogs

Cloying waft of passing uptown lady’s excessive Chanel

Burning garbage.


I am home.

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