To Toronto

I must love you quietly, embarrassed
by your unwieldy desolate sprawl, your cold heart
and shameless lack of fashion sense; deliberately love
what you have cobbled together so carelessly on gridded
streets predictable as a sitcom, the 1980s
a garish tattoo on your nether regions.
     (Had you been born beautiful, a sultry New Orleans,
gamine Paris or majestic Damascus; were you known
for romance or elegance, or like Montreal were praised
for joie de vivre . . .
Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 3. Purchase the book to read the full piece.

Toronto locations referenced in this piece

“I, at least, am yours, have spent a lifetime learning to know you, skittish mongrel, ambitious tart: I stow my heart in Kensington Market . . . ” —Kensington Ave.

“ . . . beneath the Danforth Bridge, hoping time will treat you kindly and my devotion be not worthless . . . ” —Danforth Bridge

“Eastern Avenue will become a berm, an artificial hill to guard new downtown condos from the Don River’s floods every 150 years . . . ” —Don River