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esplanade tears

I have fought, and I have lost
Confronted every demon, each new
Woman you drew close. So long I tried
To be the shape of your desire;
Sweet and soft and dulcet.
Instead, I flail, I fail.
am lost, never found.
What now, then, with such grief,
wrapped tight in my tissue,
the wet ball with which I curl
My constant companion.

Tonight, I sit by the river on our bench
The Esplanade alive with city workers,
Executives, rushing home to bright like Sexton,
I cry my tears to the Westbound cars,
I cry my sorrows to the East.

Once, I was loved by a boy
Who made me scented tea
How the building lights twinkled
How full of promise then.
I guard the evidence, velum bound
- all a golden afternoon.

I can tell you: once I was young. Once
I was beautiful, and once I saw the city
Come alive, as I came alive within it and I
Knew what it was to love and to cherish,
I was invincible and strong and never
Once did I think that time would catch me.
That I would be here tonight, weathered
And worn, tired and torn, almost an old
woman who sucks the life out of memory,
Who can say with conviction: I may be
Nothing now, but once, just once, I knew
What it was to be young, to be beautiful,
To desire and be desired, to ache with such

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