The Chicago I Know

I leaned over the heater this evening, 

hands resting on the wall, cool and dry under my fingers, 

and I looked out the window.

Below me, five lanes of traffic glowed in the red throb of brake lights.

I recognized the long white body of a police car at the corner, 

watching, waiting momentarily, then rolling away when the lights turned.

People wandered alone, in small pockets of peers, up and down the street.

A faint scent of cigarette smoke wafted into the crack of open window. 

Down the street, out of my sight, two cars honked; 

one a quick beep, another a long, insistent, screech. 

A siren called out into the night, then faded quickly from earshot, 

on its way to someone, some place, over there. 

I leaned my forehead against the thick window glass, 

watching everything and nothing, 

refreshed by the familiar, chaotic, routine rhythm 

of the Chicago I know. 




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