Slow Dancing with San Francisco, by Iris Orpi at

Slow Dancing With San Francisco

Slow Dancing with San Francisco

written by: Iris Orpi



I didn’t have much time
so I went straight to its heart
beyond the postcard perfection
and the collective sway of
waking dreams along the bridge
and into the faded shutters
of the old Victorian houses lined up
on imperfectly sloped sidewalks
and places where tarnished
elegance rose with hunched
shoulders in the dusty midday sun

and I didn’t mind
exposing all my past wounds
on every mile of shoreline
and rattling off stories that involved
narrowly escaped perdition,
casual mentions of betrayal
from both ends and falling
from cliffs of ungoverned passion,
not because it’s what I thought
it would like to hear,
but because it spoke in terms
of loving on the edge,
of an identity maneuvering
around a blueness that permeates
the bundled-up subconscious
and a desert that lays itself down
as a reminder that half of you
must end in order for the other
half to begin

and I opened myself
to let it touch me
with its dozen different
gestures paraphrasing solitude
like a wise woman who understands
that independence never
comes without a price
and the startling cold that blows
from the ocean during the night
stripping my skin of sunburn and
my muscles of their burdens of flight
crooning like migratory birds
of a lost love

and in the end, aren’t we all cities
nestled in lonely valleys, seduced
into staying by the beautiful view,
wearing handpicked colors
to draw attention to our inner
architectural marvels
and trying so hard on a daily basis
to carve a life and thrive
among cruel deserts and make do
with the patches of green that living
has to offer?

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