City – Everyone Alone in the Crowd

All roads lead to the city.

people who live on edges,
their lives one-dimensional to those
not in the same space
walk the roads to the city;
yearning not to be alone

(city as multicultured hive
buzzing with different people
different races
different sex
you are stung bitterly, over and over
yet you return)

in the crowded bars
of the danger streets
lesbians dance cheek to cheek
hip grinding against rounded hip;
lounging on the sidelines are the watchers
gay men ogle
each other
and the dancers

i dance alone
in the swinging swaying pounding
i dance in a lesbian circle
spin away to flirt with
a man in tight black jeans
black t-shirt
he smiles in collusion
before returning to his chubby mate

alone again with music
i feel his stare
the man standing on the stairwell
half inside, half out
his eyes are only for the women
a het-boy here for something
even he cannot define, a danger in the dancing
a laughter in our eyes

his gaze becomes intrusive
as he strips away my clothing
his eyes a diamond drill
his lips an unseen wetness

so spin away again
into the dance, into the music
the slamming, thumping, laughing
dancing back into the circle

still he’ll stand alone
a frozen, silent watcher
though none will bar him entry
none will take him home.


M.A. Mohanraj
February 25, 1993