I Move to a New City

Photo of a field with dirt, dead grass, and some shipping containers stacked on top of each other, with one sitting up vertically. Some warehouse buildings are in the background with a taller apartment building to the right. Dark clouds in the sky above. Wooden pole and part of a deck in the foreground.

I move to a new city,
Ask it to read me poetry.
The city obliges,
But do I listen?
Not always.

I move to a new city,
Where there’s a lot more graffiti,
Fewer trees,
And construction that goes on all year.
My date whispers there’s a conspiracy,
Doesn’t want them to overhear.

The date I know I’ll never see again.
I haven’t loved anyone since him,
But I’ve come too far to feel bitter about that here.
So instead, I walk around the city,
Take in all the graffiti
And watch as the trains pass by.
The ones that always seem five or six cars
Too short.

I climb to the top of a man-made mountain,
Cuts of wood arranged over damp earth,
And I sit down to write
My angsty little poetry about being lonely.
When really, anyone I could ever need to know
Is somewhere in this city,
Just a phone call or a few taps away.
But I don’t make any calls.
I don’t send any messages.
I put my earbuds in and block out the sound of the train.
I walk around by myself in the rain,
Looking for what I think only I’ll appreciate
On this Friday night, this night in the city,
This night of so many.

I pass people by and dare not
Look up or look for too long.
I let sparks fade into nothing.
So many missed connections,
I couldn’t possibly write a personal for them all.

Construction, torn-up streets,
Graffiti, rain, and spring.
A new album by an old band.
The same habits I always carry with me.
Struggling to connect, to find my steps.
Wandering around, trying to get lost but knowing where I am.
Wanting wanting wanting to not be so alone,
But craving my aloneness all the same.
Seeking connection, not seeking it enough.
Seeking adventure, seeking it too much.

When I come to a new place, I look different for a little while,
But the fog always clears, and I always come out the same.
I am the person I can never leave behind.
Doesn’t matter how many times I move
Or how many steps I take,
Who I am will always remain
Through fall, winter, and another spring.

This city is melting, grey and wet.
Only half-built, yet well lived in,
Which hits me where I need it to.
So I continue to walk, to take it all in,
Knowing at some point, I’ll have to begin.

It is so easy to love a place,
It takes no time at all.
Like loving a person, really,
Though less dangerous.
To love a place, a city,
Is to love its mess, its train tracks, its ugly parts,
Is to love its clouds, its rain, its construction,
Is to love a little but never enough,
Is to wander around alone,
Meeting meeting meeting,
Never quite connecting in the right way.

Published by Sage Pantony

Sage Pantony is a writer, poet, and zinester. They write about gender, sexuality, mental health, trauma, creativity, and the best ways to cook eggs. They are the author of several zines, including a trilogy about transitioning as a non-binary person. Sage’s work has appeared in publications such as Coven Poetry, Idle Ink, and The Varsity. They currently reside in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal with their pet dinosaur, Peter.

4 thoughts on “I Move to a New City

  1. thank you for this well-written piece. you’ve truly touched my heart. as someone who’s always moving cities this really hit home(wherever “home” may be) thank you for sharing your talent ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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