Deeper into Ohio, city life was
         so small the silence was deafening.
         Stranded near the top of the scale,
         the old songs got squeaky the more
         they were sung. Buildings dreamed of
         man-made implosions and earthquakes.
         Children sat alone in their high-rise
         bedrooms, and learned the words
         that gave their parents pause.
         The racket in those dorm rooms
         was droning and stable. Frank was
         crying, crooning and mooing,
         We’ll be together again.

         Meanwhile mothers were learning
         to be mean in trailer parks somewhere
         north of this. Children teased
         their hair with rat-tail combs.
         They sat at pianos, looking
         at themselves in guilty mirrors.
         It was so lonely to be so alone.
         A smaller, younger, more female
         suburb cried herself to sleep,
         high once more, weeping for
         her older, bigger, manly city—
         and so many miles away!
         Remember there’s always tomorrow.

         So what if we had to part,
         the clouds said, the sky is the
         same sky all over the world.
         But back in the city it was
         hard to see or hear in those
         smoky classrooms. And harder
         yet with cloudy eyes.
         Hair tearing was choreographed to
         old standards and the old guys
         did not mind: their tapes sang on with
         unbridled persistence, ignorant
         of the coming end of time and those
         blind movements around them.

         So try thinking with your heart
         that a trailer park is not forever.
         Try to remember that cities await
         you—a city for every wish, lit
         up like candles on cake. Remember
         that demolition men celebrate
         each building’s climb toward the heavens.
         And angels tune their harps in
         anticipation of a later time, a time
         when singers’ throats run dry, when
         citizens secede from their states,
         a time when feeling lonesome will not
         matter as much, a t—

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