When­ev­er in this city, screens flicker
with pornog­ra­phy, with sci­ence-fic­tion vampires,
vic­tim­ized hirelings bend­ing to the lash,
we al­so have to walk…if sim­ply as we walk
through the rain­soaked garbage, the tabloid cruelties
of our own neighborhoods.
We need to grasp our lives inseparable
from those ran­cid dreams, that blurt of met­al, those disgraces,
and the red be­go­nia per­ilous­ly flashing
from a ten­e­ment sill six sto­ries high,
or the long-legged young girls play­ing ball
in the ju­nior high­school playground.
No one has imag­ined us. We want to live like trees,
sycamores blaz­ing through the sul­fu­ric air,
dap­pled with scars, still ex­u­ber­ant­ly budding,
our an­i­mal pas­sion root­ed in the city.

– 21 Love Po­ems — Adri­enne Rich