Here’s the block of pavement where I found your name and the jail cell where I did my time.

the city outside my window

In the city outside my window, there’s a bar & grill where I beat you at pool and you sang us your song.


There’s a pub where we drank too much and you left me bruised and bleeding and headed home.

There’s a park where I lay with you, listened to Chicago blues. There’s a mark in the grass where I fell back in love with you.

Over there’s the club where we danced all night while the DJ mixed Michael Jackson on the day he died, and down the street’s the place where I saw the way you looked at me when we danced to reggae & the blues.

There’s a beach and a boardwalk where we walked late through the night and courted each other with jokes and jabs.

Up there’s the tram where we shared a kiss over the ocean, and down below’s where you won my seal of approval. Around the corner’s the comedy and piano bar where I felt you pull away, right next to the strip club where other men vied for your heart.

This is the archway I walked through to learn esoteric things, and across the street the coffeeshop where I saw you one last time. Here’s the corner where I told you I wanted to kiss you.

Below this street’s the subway stop where I let you go.

In that building is the couch where we finally had that kiss, the one we waited fourteen years to share.

That’s the laundromat you and I and another friend terrorized while trying to make a movie.

There’s an airport where you came to me, and the airport where we met our end. This is the way you came into my life over and over, and this is the way you left me, every time.

There’s a diner where we drank chicory coffee and ate beignets and decided we were better as friends, and here’s the lake we walked around, talked about Kant and Hegel and the world as only young philosophers see.

Here’s the church where they got married and we conjured up engaging ways. Here’s another church — where you caught my eye, smirking with your indie kitten on your head.

Here’s the palm tree where I buried my kitty, and here’s the broken-down car I called home for a while.

There’s a girl in a wonder woman suit trying to stay out of sight, calling out to me. There are musicians scenting the air with their songs and workers planting flowers for the season.

Here’s the block of pavement where I found your name and the jail cell where I did my time.

Here’s the roof where I sat as a young man and confessed to the grand willow tree all my pains and all my hopes.

And here, here’s the door I call home.

Outside my window there’s a world, a city of my own memory, and you – and you – and you & you – live here, in a city ever-growing, a city built of everywhere we’ve been. This is the city outside my window.

Mila (Jacob Stetser)

Mila is a writer, photographer, poet & technologist.

He shares here his thoughts on Buddhism, living compassionately, social media, building community,
& anything else that interests him.

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  1. I like this. Makes me want to write my own.


  2. This poem brings tears to my eyes, and reminds me why you need to come back east to your family and enjoy a time of healing. We have a place ready for you when the time is right, the vision comes together, and you pass all of your tests.

    Jackie Stetser

  3. I was trying to recreate the sense of nostalgia and intimacy of showing a good friend around one’s neighborhood – we don’t share places, we share memories attached to places. And the sadness evident in some of those memories is so acute because of the joy of the events that preceded them. The city outside my window isn’t all Boulder, either – it’s as much Boston, NY, Chicago, LA, Maui and even a little bit of Kezar Falls. It’s a city of stories, of memories, grown organically from the experiences in my life.

    I’m still planning to move back east, but Boulder is no more a place of sadness or joy than any other place I’ve lived.

    “No, there is not more beauty here than elsewhere — but there is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere.” Rainer Maria Rilke

    (reposted from Facebook because I wanted to make my intentions and the meaning of this piece more clear.)

    Mila (Jake Stetser)