Me and the City

got a thread going on Gmail.  Apparently I sent

it a message a while ago or

maybe it was just spam accidentally clicked on, but anyway

now we’re in contact

for better or worse.  City tells me

the little things that happen each day, not

front-page shootings or scandals but how there’s

a new graffiti tag on the wall of a

video store in Humboldt Park or

the teeth-clenching headache of a jackhammer on Adams Street.

City just figured out how to post video links so

now I keep watching stupid clips

like a kid faceplanting

off a skateboard jump down stairs in a park somewhere;

I think the City has a messed-up

sense of humor, but I chuckle too.

We must have something in common

something dark we

thought we left in the ashes, yesterday’s mud

not quite wiped off our soles

Some mornings the message is terse, biting as

cold winter breeze off the lake I haven’t

even felt yet, but I know

what it’s like

Me and the City both ache as we rise

some mornings, spines feel older than we are

ghosts’ blood rusting our shoulder-blades–why we crave

younger lighter fare to balance

the weight

why we keep in touch

hold each other and send messages in electronic bottles

hoping we will float another day.