Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A day in Chicago

193 miles from Chicago
I lapse into a sleep that is disturbed
by familiar noise, a note breaking into laughter
another stressing importance of a conversation, muted to fit a bus

of half-sleeping passengers buoying through streets
pilled with burnt-out corn-canes spelling autumn
the other half buried under leather jackets, sharing size M&Ms
side chatter, side flatter, side flirtations

I wake up on the edge of the city
imagining- for a second-
that my thighs will transform into a graphic of a cartoon
these are the images that come with skyscrapers

on the loop, I look up, there's a sky
that is clear blue, passengers in the bus rising
for the click of the shutter
I fail at making mine, an understanding of those clicking away time

I have read it is husky and brawling
like a dog's demand for food from strangers
but the city doesn't demand much of me,
gives me food, a bed, images of the day and night

gives me time to comb my hair
time to choose my pan-cake sides
to ponder about a simple choice between
walking and running, between a crowd and my shadow

I run Michigan Avenue
without checking how a man's open festering
sores are his only defense against the ill winds
of the city, of the trail of a look from foot to knee

when I pause to look up I see it
the point where the sky meets the buildings
without objection they fit together:
man made towers to reach God, God made rivers to reach man

I race art for a feeling, between Monet
Warhol, Picasso are enough disasters
with smeared colors erupting in a second
blues, for sadness, lilies for health, greens for happiness

on the boat he tells me
it was called shikaakwa by the Indian who before the skyscraper
tried to reach the gods by the longest staffs in his tipi
never thinking that the staff would learn to bend on his back

a nomad is a nomad is a nomad and you cannot change

how we reach the skies in our own methods
but he also said that some stones of the city
were gathered, like the scattered fruits of earth
from the four corners of the universe

to reside in this very city, make a sky-line
for watchers, visitors, eaters of priced meals
thinkers across the green water of the Chicago river
he says a lot of things and I listen quietly

it is better if I don't open my mouth

later at night, I pass by the classic signs
of love. Two hands intertwined
a horse drawn carriage
a night that descends to clear way on loner beds

on top of a tower I see night falling over the city
alone, tilting over hundreds of passing cars
no one stops the traffic to see a head near a skyscraper's window
no one says I love you with a bright lit tower in the background

at eleven p.m. the towers look the same
the river, tepid water runs along

on the banks you think of the words of origin
chicagwaa, at some point meant Garlic
a name so small for a city
so big. Why garlic? hoarders for witches
devil devil go away,
devil devil here you stay
cries the nomad who took a staff, hammered it to earth
then said: this is home

one more time you think of  his words:
how a great fire made the way on both sides of water
how you want to tell him that fire knows how to jump a river
if it intends to burn but remain awfully silent, for reasons beyond you.

nighttime Chicago, taken with Iphone 5 camera

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