“The City” by Jenny Keto

Where every gram
of every human
inhabiting this place
is ground to dust

poured into cement
and mixed with the
water we only see
when it rains gray.

Gray that is hard
but is not rock
spreads over this
Earth we call home

and the land is
plotted out with
the width and height
of every human here.

Human sized
human sourced
boxes, we build
and we pave

and we build
with our waste
until we run
out of room.

Yet we come, we all come
here, because it must be here

and we pound
this pavement
thirsty, so thirsty
for something

we cannot see or hear
or smell, but we come
and we build our boxes up

until there’s no more light
until there’s no more
blue or green or brown
and gray is all we have in sight.

So we wait, we all wait underground
and we close our eyes to air that rushes but is not wind
and we sit or we stand in place, not moving

while something else moves us
waiting for someone to move us

because it must be here…


Jenny Keto is a writer and actress born, raised, and currently living in Austin, Texas. She graduated with a B.A. in Theater from the University of Texas at Austin and acted regionally until wanderlust bit her.  As a life experiment, Jenny moved to NYC just shy of turning 30.   After the city taught her what she needed to learn, Jenny returned home to switch gears and become a nurse.  She looks forward to the prospect of helping people for a living.  Her first publication can be seen in the upcoming web publication of Painted Cave Literary Journal.

Please note: Poetry is compressed to fit smart phone screens. If you are reading this poem on a phone screen, please turn your screen sideways to make sure that you are seeing correct line breaks for this poem.

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