sitting on stolen land, paying rent to a white man, eating food grown on another continent flown here on a plane fueled by the blood of the earth that gives us life, only to throw the plastic wrapper from your foreign fruit on to the infertile earth beneath your feet soaked in six feet of heavy concrete
birdsong drowned out by engine roars and commercial jingles
light filtered through billboards and towering cranes
bodies become objects, then obstacles. a sea of people who you don’t see and who will never see you, in which you will drown while dying of thirst because your water is brown and full of lead and you can’t remember the last time you heard the tinkling of a crystal clear stream
when was the last time you heard the breeze rushing through the branches of the trees?
when did you last feel the sun on your bare back, the rough sod squishing ever so slightly between your toes as you walked, brushing your fingertips along feathery fronds of grass?
do you miss being free?
do you remember the smell of rain on bare earth, the petrichor so strong you can taste it on your tongue, only to drown it out with an explosion of juice from a blackberry just picked off the bramble that grew in your grandma’s backyard? a memory from so long ago it feels like a story in a book, instead of something belonging to you alone?
no bramble grows in a concrete jungle
the trees that do grow here are not allowed to bear fruit, per city ordinance, punishable by fine