If you had asked me what I missed most,

I might have said the stone cobbles or

the way the buildings still stand after years and years.

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I might have said how at night sometimes

there is a moment, a single golden moment,

where the city itself looks to be on fire, rich in embers.

Or I might have said dawn, the early morning winter glow.

The feeling that something is happening, people are moving,

they have somewhere to be that only they know.

I think perhaps now I would say it is you,

not you alone, but you amongst the many.

The paths and avenues that you pursue.

Those who have never spoken, whose names I may have forgot.

Watching their lives and feelings dance across their faces.

The possibility of knowing them, or not.

The possibility that you will know enough to love them, or not.

And somehow feeling half in, but still half out.

The fear that you will become stuck whilst life unravels before you,

a mere spectator to time.

The photographs on the walls show people years ago in the same spot.

Did they feel the same, love the same, breathe the same.

It seems impossible that they did, even more so that they did not.

For they too ran to escape the rain, droplets falling off their cheeks.

They lost old books, laughed, cried and blushed

crimson as the wine they drank, softly gazed, hesitant to speak.

This inheritance seems to embrace the city and sing slowly as to a friend.

Not a spectre but simply a circle,

Telling us that we will be who we will be, our moment is not the end.

If you had asked me what I missed most

I might have said the stone cobbles or

the way the buildings will stand after years and years.