The city is a better lover because you never have to ask if it feels good. Not that you shouldn’t ask your lover if it feels good, it’s just that you already know. There aren’t any questions. It feels exactly how it feels for you. Confusing. Electrifying. Strange.
Maybe you wish she’d ask, but that’s a different story.
The city is a better lover because she won’t judge you for your looks. She’s seen all of it, and all parts of her have seen all of it, the raw orbiting everything, melancholy angelic bodies splayed out on the sidewalks, love letters dropped at the feet of unoccupied apartments, pill dust smashed bottles and skirts torn open where you couldn’t find the zipper. It’s purgatorial love. You aren’t in the worst shape she’s seen, or the best.
Someone will always look better and someone is always in more pain.
She won’t hide from you either. She won’t mask her flaws, won’t dart into the bathroom with a yelp if you happen to pass by while she’s changing and catch a glimpse of her nude, won’t turn red and pull her stomach into the back of her spine if you turn on the light. She won’t care if you’re judging her. You might be. But she’s a hard bitch. She doesn’t hide her scars, spreads them out in front grabs your head and turns it back around when you don’t want to look anymore and think you might be sick.
She laughs in your face and tells you to get an education.
You can have a one-night stand with her and not worry about whether to go to brunch. You’re going to brunch and that’s the end of it.
She’s got so much in her, so much cosmic waste on concrete pelvic floor, filaments carbon compounds blood cells skin cells dust battery acid spit cum and spilled beers. She dares you to scale her, climb up the dead hollows of her esophagi and freefall down the elevator shafts, collect your visions on mercurial fire escapes and kneel down drunk slip spread eagle reach out snow angel and cry and cry.
The city is a better lover because she’ll make you pay attention.
She’ll never stand in the kitchen with one hand on her hip muttering vaguely into the soup. She won’t roll her eyes at the ceiling sigh deeply and wave you away until she’s collected her words. She’ll make you sit down in the chair and take a good look at what you’ve done, then tell you to fuck her on the table. She’ll erode you, dissolve your outer layer in a subway puddle and scoop up the remains of your consciousness, mantras and conclusions carefully picked away.
And she’ll take care of you, like any lover who makes you see things for what they are.