your city, my city

so today,
we drove downtown,
and i guess it’s actually pretty big-
after all,
they just built the chandler city hall there
in all of its light blue and shining glory-
but to me it still feels small and
unique.

as the modern architecture begins to eat away rundown auto shops
and crowd against diners,
adult stores, libraries, bars,
and hidden-away antique shops
there is a sense of being personally invaded.

they say
(whoever the hell ‘they’ are)
that they are bringing new energy to this ‘historical town,’
and instilling pride into the residents of this great community
(i suppose by that they can only mean people like me)
as if i could feel any connection at all
to the towering complex with its sleek glass windows
and the new bus stops along the street
with their futuristic artwork hung above each bench,
although maybe my tax dollars
count towards my participation in its construction.

‘they’ have clearly never felt the overflowing satisfaction
of walking along the concrete walls in front of the old library
back and forth, back and forth for the very first time
without falling,
never wandered
among the mismatched buildings to find the right shop,
searched through every old item to uncover
just the right china doll with a dress that smells of age,
danced in a pink ballet dress behind the old buildings
and thrown tiny matching flowers into the fountains that hide around corners,
driven past the fire station and gazed with wide eyes
into the windows of the brick building at bright red fire engines
and smooth white floors.

their pride is in their handiwork and
my pride is in my memories of the tastes, the smells, the sounds,
the chihuahua races, the ostrich festivals,
the annual tumbleweed christmas trees
of my rundown and timeless city.

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