In the city I learn that insomnia
is measured not by hours, but lifetimes.
This city knows temporary deaths
the way a fish knows land:
only by its edges. I cut at the shore,
watch my hand make little
disruptions. A lighthouse signals
to no one. Next to me, roads
that return to their starting points,
patterned in the same wind that weaves
through the towers like tall grass.
I was taught to tell a city
by its always distant skyline,
and never by the hours to travel
through it in traffic. Even at dawn
on this beach the rumble comes
from waves of cars. Across the pier,
a piece of sinking scrap metal,
perhaps a new home for the fish.
And nearby, a boat skimming
both the ocean and cityscape.