It is my hometown.
Quaint, as some might say.
Lives here led in quiet desperation end up as charades.
Stepping off the bus, the unshifted atmosphere immediately envelopes one.
I am a chain-smoking alien, somewhat akin to the memory-phantoms
I can hardly recall the lives I tried to live here.
Worlds made have fallen out of orbit, do not penetrate upon the present.
I turn, hesitatingly, to smile at a stranger who does not smile back
and then realize-
nothing has really changed.