MY CHICAGO DAY, LONG AGO

The pulsating song
Of the urban prairie,
Vacant lots
With untended gardens
Of ragweed
And stunted sunflower,
Where pastel butterflies
Mate
In the noon sun
On beds of purple thistle.

Sunset stillness
Shivers
With each
Steam locomotive call,
The long scream of
Sky cloth ripped to the horizon,
Fading swiftly like
A lost kite,
Forlorn
And whispering
At the edge of a circle.

On top
Of the gas tower
A beacon twirls its
Filmy baton
Into the night.

Geometric life
Inside the pool hall.
Coned lighting
For thick white planes
Of cigarette smoke
Framing players
Surveying angles
For their next shot.
The cue ball slams
A racked triangle
And the flash opening
Of the closed fist
Drives multi-colored circles
Over green felt

On the way home
Rectangles of light
In apartment buildings
Marking cells of security,
Snug confinement
Underlining the thrill of
movement,
The excitement of strange
shadows
In dark streets,
And the magic
Of squinted eyes
Turning street lights into
Pale golden cat whiskers.

Soft
Into sleep,
As the wind
Plays
Ancient lullabies
On poplar leave