When you say no one should be allowed to love a place, I grieve –
this sea breeze, the baker’s air, the riot grrl loud in half-open windows,
flowers and pitcher and paper cup. Letters to politicians gather on the table.
The feminist icon wanders Chicago asking who has seen her husband.
Its far too easy to shave your lip bare, to wear open toed shoes on holidays.
You are a lifeboat, a great lake between coasts. Hover and night falls,
ghosts, Michigan. Michigan, what do you envy? Which windy coast?
On sailboats and docks, in dioramas — perfect miniature, small house,
flowers and a pitcher, housewife shoes and poise.
Your favorite Sleater-Kinney song is the same as everybody else’s.
You are pregnant and paused. Garage sale pyrex, cursed hair in a librarian bun,
fingers in a prayer. Kathleen, who is Chicago to you? Window gust and thrall,
your heal broken, your books shred, babies dream and ache for meaning,
string guitars and sing for change in bus shelters and windy stoops.
In summer the heavy branches let go and someone else says god bless you,
the pollen furious in the air.
About the author:
Nora Bee is a poet living in Oakland but working in San Francisco, so you may as well say she lives on public transportation. More of her work may be found online in The White Whale Review.