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