My fingers are cold and this is October in another city. A city I had never touched before leaving my traces all over town. That’s what’s great about words. They can travel with you, leaving pieces of your soul in all the places you stop. The world is wide and letters can fill up the air. The vibrations of love and life and fake poetry can be left on napkins in places you will never be again. People come and go, find places outside of where they are. Seconds away from where they want to be, but the coffee flows here, there is wifi.
Graffiti is a novelty, looking at artistry in places unallowed. It consumes here, too much of something will typically kill. Talent is surrounding, left to walls in the back alleys losing meaning and creating cluttered works. The painters leaving their mark, disregarding the holistic structure. Too much of something can kill you, can kill a town and lose all moments where we are. Is there meaning in motion from the walls painted from afar? A shark eating an elephant, are we the shark? Is society the elephant? Does it even matter. Because it’s cold here on the coast and asking is all that I could do. Graffiti of something I didn’t understand but I contributed none the less. Right places at the right times and everyone here is an artist. The cold comes in as the drinks gets warmer. Insight comes from where we were in the days since. Of who I was before I met the person who destroyed me.
This city must be for dreamers, named after a saint. I left politics behind on the east coast. A place where bills are stuck in congress and the homeless are paid to protest. Monetary exchanges for a cause, here hold this sign, stand for something other than yourself. We hear chants all the time, it becomes indistinguishable sound. The self-doubt, the negativity, the poison. It all became background noise in the city I walked away from. There was person I left behind in a place that wasn’t for me. I grew myself new, shedding skin cells on the place. The air took away my worries and the coast grew wider with my lips. I wanted to be the sky, be whoever I wanted. I chose moment by moment as my eyes were lost in the clouds. The artist who sat next to me told me poetry was pretentious. I laughed and watched him color, shade the white into the grey.
This city is for shading, becoming ghosts of who you are. It’s exposing the hardest parts of you to love, but you love the hardest parts of you the most. It’s coloring them white and waving the flag of surrender. The city is surrendering to itself, being soft against the fog. It hides when you don’t want to see. I watched the artist light up his cigarette. He said what’s one more smoke in lungs filled with tension. He can shade in the orange, fire, coloring anything he wants. I didn’t reply, just stood next to him. I only wanted the warmth to surround us both. He asked me why I was here and we both agreed that was too deep a question in the fog. His voice was heavy while his question sank to the ground.
I said my fingers are cold and this is October in San Francisco.