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Calculated Remorse
she speaks with a wistful accent you can't quite place
you've had a lot of trouble sleeping since the ship turned north
there were moving sidewalks in this city before
but they ran out of money before they finished the bridge
she said she would be back here in an hour
are you constrained by what you can carry or how much you can bear?
they will sell you souvenirs of the things you have paid for
they will tell you their stories of calculated remorse
and in the pictures you take
the light is always just about to
tell you what it means to her
to return to this shore
she tells you she was born here, and she never sounds more lost
you had maps you drew lines on, but you left them in a car
she offers to walk you to a view of the harbor
but why would you come here just to see how you arrived?
you tell her you know verb forms, and the history of the navy
but all of the street names just remind you of food
she holds out a picture of a pier that burned down years ago
and a handwritten poem about calculated remorse
and the difference in the postcards
is that you never see the signs
like a city run by magic
or abandoned in the night
and the differences between cities
melt while you wait for her return
along walls built on centuries
of calculated remorse
and the differences between you
are the same between us all
in our cities built on centuries
of calculated remorse
in these cities scored with symphonies
of calculated remorse
[Mostly constructed in GarageBand in the air on the way home, mostly ignored for a while until I could figure out how it was supposed to sound, and then finished under close and skeptical supervision.]
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