To The Buildings Across The Back Alley From My Apartment (first letter)

I’ve looked over you for twelve years.  I’ve watched the Cambie Bridge and downtown library disappear behind condo developments and box stores.  I’ve had my living room windows wide open, trying to catch the cherry blossom petals floating in the air between us.  I’ve seen moss grow over many months, like a thick and fuzzy shag carpet, across your roofs.
Our walls have been cliffs buffeting a continuous stream of dumpster divers.  An increasing flow will return after your demolition.  It’s only for now, with electrics gutted and windows removed, that some drifting scavengers have managed to stop moving, temporarily inhabiting your abandoned spaces, stock piling shopping cart loads, cooking with open fires inside you.  A palimpsest of spray paint threatens to proliferate beyond your remains.
Camping gear employees would step out your back doors for smoke breaks three times a day and sometimes play hacky sack.  Where are they now?  I already miss the North Shore Mountains as I stare over you all towards them.  I miss the rain clouds in the distance and their gradual sweep of the downtown core.  I forget them as I take them in.  What lies before me appears already lost.
I won’t pine for the obscenely expensive, unnecessary sports stadium roof that has landed like a garish spaceship amongst all of this, a constant indicator of the corrupt profiteering at the heart of our failed civilization.  Every glimpse of this thing is a reminder of what is being ignored and what hasn’t been considered, accommodated or taken care of.
It’s only with your approaching demise that I wonder if you might be a chunk of fleeting significance – of History.  Here I am writing to you now, despite the innocuousness of your presence leading up to this moment, your faux-datelessness and utility, your tired and anonymous newness, your utter lack of character.  Perhaps this is why any evidence of this city’s development seems intentionally destroyed.  Each instance is tawdry and damning, an indication of criminality, of cultural and ethical absence.
There are cranes and rebar concrete shells everywhere behind you.  They crown the middle ground.  It’s as if this place is incarcerated by perpetual erasure, a simultaneous destruction and construction that is somehow foolishly meant to defeat the inevitability of our passing.
The new building will block my view.