Have you ever had a love affair with this city?
So madly and deeply and painfully in love with this place
that you swear it must be a sin,
but when you walk into that big old echoing cathedral,
you find you’ve got nothing to confess
She’ll pin you down and smile into you with her curves,
that one big sweep of the river, and the little tug boats
will pull you up and away and down through
the muddy waters, and it’s not just that you can’t
fight the current— it’s that you don’t want to
She has her good days and her bad days but
most of all she has her ways, her mystery and
her charm and if you ever think of leaving her,
she’ll pass a plate of spices and something fried
under your nose, and you’ll sit back down
Have you ever had your heart broken by this city?
Have you ever been held back by the arms of
the oak trees, knocked over by the gently flapping
flags hanging from the wrought iron balconies,
tied down by the latitude and longitude of
the sleepy, easy way of life?
Have you ever begged for permission to leave her?
But once she hangs her heavy head and lets you go,
pulls a hurricane from within her depths to flush you out
and give you the excuse you need,
you realize you never wanted anything more
in your whole life than to love her back,
even if you find yourself drowning in that specialty of hers,
her all-consuming love