The medicine store fluorescents hum a tired tune,
casting the street in shades of sickly green.
Another night, another joint, another cartoon
playing on the screen – a laugh track, obscene.
The cashier, a girl with eyes like chop-chopped china,
rings up my purchase, barely a glance my way.
Outside, the wind whispers secrets to the pusher,
secrets I already know, secrets that decay.
Back in my room, the roaches scatter like filings,
a symphony of clicks on the cracked tiles floor.
The amber nugget burns a familiar fire, fillings
the uselessness with a bittersweet roar.
No dreams tonight, just the hum of the city’s thrum,
sirens wailing a lullaby off-key.
This concrete jungle’s my lullaby, glum,
a symphony of despair, just for me.

Another sunrise, another cheap beer chaser, staving off the rust.
The road stretches on, an endless gray strip, promises neon-lit and faded.

Heart’s a cracked asphalt road, weeds pushing through the lines.
Your laughter, a dusty cassette, the tune barely there.
Plays in the background, static and skips, an unforgotten summer.

Bus shelter reeks of stale cigarettes and despair.
Rain lashes down, a chorus of drumming on the metal roof.
Ad posters peel at the edges, dreams you can’t afford.

Haggard faces huddle, shadows in the dim light.
Each one a story scrawled on a crumpled paper cup.
Waiting for a bus that may never come, or a ride that takes them too far.

Morning light bleeds onto the fire escape, harsh and unforgiving. The city below stretches out, a tapestry of broken dreams woven into concrete and steel. The clang of distant construction echoes a hollowness in my chest.

Another night, another full ashtray for company. The ache of loneliness is a familiar weight, a shadow I can’t outrun.

But then, across the street, a flicker of life. Your eyes.

A vision, an echo of a dream you left behind. You dance, a silhouette bathed in the golden light, a memory come alive. Your laughter, a melody carried on the breeze, a cruel taunt of what could have been.

The city fades, the noise muted. There’s only you, a whirlwind of uninhibited joy, a stark contrast to the hollowness that consumes me.

I reach out, but my hand grasps at empty air. You’re a figment, a cruel trick of the light. The ache intensifies, a bitter reminder of what I’ve lost.

The dance ends, the music fades. You’re gone, leaving behind a world painted in shades of gray.

I clench the paper, a silent scream trapped in my throat. The city grinds on, oblivious to my despair.

Maybe I’m a ghost haunting this fire escape, but for a fleeting moment, you let me see the light. And for that, the ache is a small price to pay.