rickshaw reverie

the morning after the storm,
i drove downtown to see all the houses
with their roofs peeled back like the sharp rims
of opened aluminum cans of corn or of beans.

everyone wants to talk about getting out,
(like little Cleveland’s the problem)
while we try to thrive on tinned food
and drive-thru romance and starve our brittle bones;

as we blame this city,
as if it’s anything more than mud brick.
what could we expect from a place
that burns itself to the ground twice per year?

progress?
or better yet, peace?
        nothing of that sort grows in the fields behind my apartment.

the morning after the storm,
everyone huddled in their yards at sunrise,
assessing the damage and making calls
to check in on loved ones–
all the while with the vain hope in the back of their minds
that before the next storm comes, they’d all hold hands
and blow out north on the dingy side of Highway 61
like chaff in those dirty wheat-field winds.

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