City of Lights

I see these lights
Flickering with gusto,
Radiating in pride along
Parapets, rails, banisters.

I see people
Bright-eyed and enthused
New clothes, with price tags intact
Smiles, of melting margarine
Flaxen-hued.

I see fireworks;
Burnishing the night,
Like a million stars have burst
Scattering stardust and light.

They mirror in my eyes –
Lights, people, sparklers
But I know better than that
I know the City of Lights.

I know her beaming façade,
Hiding a million estranged cries.
I know, behind those blinding lights
She muffles hurts, cut
Deep and wide.

I recognize this blinding opulence
As but a glorious trick –
Veiling the inert misery
That runs deep through its nerves
Veins, reaching the heart;
The City’s ingrains.

For its lights are distractions,
From the squalor galore.
Masquerading the darkness, frowns and pain,
The City wants to submerge
In Nepenthe for a while
To remain in oblivion
For this single night.

12 November 2015

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