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Bring Me Back to Boston MAG
Where I'm from is a stumbling line dance of crickets and tractors,
lonely lighthouses partnered with boats kept in step by the current
as the people are kept in the past by the pines.
Maine is maddeningly beautiful in its lifelessness, “the way life should be,”
if life is lumber yards and sea-smooth rocks.
It's a dry coast, shallow hills and salt air.
The ocean is a living thing, a monster of its own,
and Maine is its terminal trap.
I am an inland success story, a bent book spine in a library
down the East Coast.
Boston is a vicious lover.
The city rests, assuming and self-assured,
on the broad shoulders of the Atlantic.
It's an unyielding orchestra.
It mimics the rhythm of tides in a thousand footsteps per second.
The subway flies like a bow over the underground strings of rails,
accompanied by a trumpet section of car horns.
We are the mismatched choirs of rebels without causes.
Boston is a war zone.
Chariot taxis and armadas of buses carry the militia day by day to the front lines
of charts and canvas, fires and messy apartments,
to the brink of reason.
We do not live here to be reasonable.
We mix our weekend battle cries with ambulance sirens.
And because Boston is ruthless,
every day we dig up the graveyards to retake Beacon Hill,
to defy gravity with skyscrapers, to rocket through the ground like the vastness of space.
Boston is the center of our galaxy,
making the Common and Copley and the Prudential planets, Cambridge our moon,
and every street a star in a spiderweb constellation.
We are a new breed of astronomers.
Boston is a trial made from a playground for monstrous heroes with twisting faces.
This city is where I stretch my legs,
my claws come out, and I am ferocity, still half in fetal position, but
growing into high heels and the pride of thrown-back shoulders.
We must outlive these bruised knees and blistered lips.
We exist now for the tongue and angry teeth.
We are animals.
Boston is our forest.
We stampede every inch of this territory every day; it's ours.
This city is where we try to cast spells over cash registers,
and pull card tricks from our sleeves,
like Boston is the ace of spades that will stretch that paycheck a few cents farther.
Boston is just wildness,
littered with pages of books our mothers used to read to us.
We are monsters hunting neon signs and light switches,
overcrowded parties and intoxication.
Boston is my stage.
I am reading cracked sidewalks
and building dance floors out of paper swans.
We dip and dodge and weave.
We backflip over the mundane
it has never been enough for our city.
We'll take nothing less than sundown to sunrise, broken-back spins and leaps,
like we think we can outdance the big screen
where we sneak into the second movie free, every time,
because we're poor kids in a college town, and if you can only live once,
you should be able to watch twice.
But Boston is my partner,
and I am a jealous sidekick.
Together we are ruthless, vicious, wild;
we are selfish lovers, bending buildings to our wills.
We are unshakable rooftops and pitch-black alley eyes.
If home is where the heart is,
then I'll never leave the downtown,
where we bleed from buildings.
Together we are glass and steel
with subway veins and a pulse of workday to nightlife.
We stretch out our victorious arms
and we are alive,
and we are home.