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Unprotected Cities
here were walls, there a gate, now just lines on a screen
fading in distinctions around these sociologists' demesnes
over time we collect reasons not to feel fear
   and these theories are
systems for telling our souls we are sure what they mean
and if our lives are recanted we inherit our geography's calm
and this becomes a way of measuring the gravity of these unprotected cities
and our homes can be floating but our hearts can be bound to the ground
and when history sings of us our dreams will give names to these towns
where the land used to end, there's a scaffolding of hymns
humming stories of explorers disguised as where we've been
wearing colors we learned about in other people's wars
   and we wonder why the
tourists we welcome are never the kinds that remain
but if our flags are divided into how we relate or recoil
this may be how we can fight without armor in these unprotected cities
perching our homes on the boundaries between what aligns and what surveys
and if history abandons us our ruins will pour into the bay
here were stores, there a church, but we never really prayed
here were arbors and palisades and stadiums where symbolism frayed
and the complexes architected to house our governments of days
   have turned into
ziggurats and monuments where we bring our children's children to play
and if our streets are divided into how we defy or decline
this may be how we can live without hiding in these unprotected cities
making our homes in the moments between what surrounds and what defines
and when history releases us our legends will rise to the sky
[Sequenced in GarageBand betwixt Greenland and the tolerant stars, sung in London after an afternoon spent taking surreptitious pictures of people peering puzzledly at the back of the Rosetta Stone.]
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