I miss the skyline that stood for itself.
The cityscape of steel and stone and smarts and sweat.
Black cragged cut-outs, sharp against a dark blue sky.
The satisfying consequence of a community built on diligence and toil.
Golden hued reflections as the twilight sun went low in the west.
A gleaming gateway where nature and knowledge brought beauty.
That was before halogen and neon gas glazed the atmosphere with lettered logos
And advertisement trumped architecture.
Where corporate placards triumph over the built environment
like an athlete’s celebratory dance over a play designed for him to make.
CEOs broadcasting their perceived value in light emitting diodes.
Gone is the pride that valued accomplishment with humility, quiet strength.
I still prefer the city that didn’t need no stinking badges.
— Gabriel Leone
Gabriel Leone has worked as a bartender, landscaper, house painter and in some less legitimate occupations, such as writing. He’s living in Bloomfield. Photo by Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette.