Echoes of an Urban Soul
New York, 2023.
Shades of light echo in my day.
The bus stations are full and, seconds later, empty.
A Palestinian scarf wraps around three boys' heads.
It's odd but liberating, like the dew drops on the front seat of a window,
Like folded paper with hidden notes of a secret agent.
Odd findings are usually hard to comprehend.
The rebel in me wishes to undo the newspapers.
Undo technology? Undo superpowers' dominance?
The ghosts of the city surround me, globally identifying me as a person out of time:
Out of date.
But I am only different because I have a black and white scarf,
With bald hair and Ray-Ban sunglasses. I should fit the world trend of belonging and unbelonging.
I can read and write. I’ve seen the Mona Lisa. I’ve seen Dalí’s work. I’ve been to MOMA and to Leipzig University’s library, built in 1405.
Why do I feel out of time?
A boy harasses another child on the train. Drunk. Says things he shouldn’t have said.
A pregnant wife sits next to me: and all I could do is unleash my protective edge.
Unleash my armor and sword. But a baby needs to be safe, I think.
Must be safe, from fists and warplanes and pistols.
Another gunshot is heard, and I still scribble on the paper, hoping that my words never finish.
Or that my memory remains sharp because I always want to remember things. Two hundred years later, I want to be remembered.
I could go trail running. Sit by the lake. Cry for a few minutes but then pick myself up, imagining a wooden desk in my home office overlooking a lake.
The lake is not a pond, and the pond is not an ocean.
All the water is musty, and I must walk back home.
“Have a safe trip back home,” the hotel receptionist says.
But I’d rather book an infinite stay at an infinite hotel.
Some hotels where Rumi stayed, or in Tabriz.
But am I from the East, belonging to the West? Or West belonging to East?
Identity crashes at passport control, and I don’t know who I am.
The passport machine asks me to go back to the back of the line.
Is the status of a refugee always unidentified?
Even if he gets an American Passport or an EU stamp?
The world belongs to who? Millions of newborn refugees and so many more created homeless, like the vanished stars seeking a place.
Geocentricity proven false. Refugees roaming around the Earth in infinite loops,
Does the United Nations have a name for this? Refugee what?
Any city, in the future.
Cities buzzing with life of all kinds of people. It's beautiful. Wooden houses by the lakeshore and happy retirement worry us until we get there. But we forgot to live. I don’t want to forget to live. I am still seeking a permanent place.
A permanent perfume.
Infinite flower gardens that shape the meaning of spirit.
We confused the soul with spirit.
We confused home and prison.
Civilizations with error.
But the child in me wants to walk permanently to nowhere.
No destination justifies being homesick.
I will reside wherever I am.
I will find who I am.
I will write (that’s who I am!)
Run free? Death is a sudden lightning strike that will sweep us all.
But I want to live happier; I know happiness is not the ultimate goal.
And I’ll not be any happier. I’ll just pretend that food and shelter are fine.
Just fine, maybe that will make me grateful, smiling at the fact that the mirror didn’t shatter yet.
Another city, time flies, doesn’t it?
Is it worth it? The radio plays some music of Bach.
I soak myself in the melody. I soak myself in the sun.
Ocean waves and meditation.
I’m a happy child at the moment.
I never sought a happy ending.
That’s not the goal.
Some other city, two thousand years later.
No echoes or trace of anything.
Anything is everything, and everything is nothing.
Silence is all that prevails.
We could have failed or succeeded.
Won or got defeated.
It really doesn’t make sense.
Nothing makes sense as we’re heading towards the end.
The end is near.
There’s always a beginning somewhere, a new start. A fresh start in some city, somewhere.