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A City and a Tower

My name was Araceli in the evening
when we danced, darkness against the dark,
and he joked about erecting
spiraled towers from the dirt.
“We will be grass in the morning,” he said,
“but now we are weeds.”
And I whispered, “Come on, boy, dance.”
That night he calls me Eden,
though I see him look like wolves;
his wayward leaning is slick
and slides me down.
And I rise

and rise

in my bosom

‘til I am full of that “per sempre!”
the wild girls carry in their laugh,
when the wineglasses are drained
and the sun is the moon,
and I go laughing all evening long.
And that night he calls me Heathen,
my love.
In my sweat
he tells me how weeds
overgrow the grass.
And jokes that he has built
spiraled towers in the dirt
and fastens his belt
and laughs.

About this poem

I wrote this poem with the intention of including it in a book of poetry that I never completed. The poem, and the book, focus on the economic conditions coming into view in my home city. At the time, the city operated under threat of gentrification at the time. It is now in the middle of that process, to the chagrin of some and the delight of others.

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Written on April 13, 2009

Submitted by kemaeljo on September 29, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

49 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 849
Words 164
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 12, 1, 14

Kemael Johnson

I was born and raised in Detroit, where I wake each morning with a hope as bright as the sun. more…

All Kemael Johnson poems | Kemael Johnson Books

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1 Comment
  • Wchase44
    I just liked it. It had a mystery about it that made me want to read it a few times over.
    LikeReply7 months ago


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"A City and a Tower" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Jun 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/138962/a-city-and-a-tower>.

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