In a City You Will Never Visit by Young Smith
In a City You will Never Visit
by Young Smith
Tonight, in a city you will never visit,
no one finds your absence strange.
In that Kitchener or Jabalpur,
that Shadrinsk or P’yongyang,
no one waits for you to call,
no one expects you at a party,
no one searches for your face
among a crowd of passerby.
If an alto sings off key somewhere
in that Yerevan or Belomorsk,
that Gwangju or Kinshasa,
no one is reminded of your voice.
You are the subject of no rumors,
whether counterfeit or true,
in that Riga or that Reykjavik,
that Kursk or Saskatoon,
and in that Aberdeen or Abidjan,
that Taipei or Bucharest,
no one envies your good fortune
or begrudges your old debts
(just as no one grits his teeth there
at the mention of your name
or relives a dark embarrassment
for which you were to blame).
We’ll find your eyes in no one’s dreams,
then, in that Banjul or Jakarta,
no one listening for your footsteps
in that Woollahra or Dakar,
and in the morning when you don’t
appear, no one will be surprised,
since those who might have hoped
you’d come will not yet have arrived.
from the book, In a City You Will Never Visit
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