The last of the heat pools
into the giant breaths of this
day. Cut by rain, now
the drying blots of it,
the familiar hurt at that first chill.
Accordion laughter from the neighbors
and the gulped sirens
all along the North Side-the endless
melody of accident.
I was with you this morning, absent
for the downstairs fire, drunken Sean,
his 4 am dinner. Passed out,
he left his eggs to die,
everyone else gathered on the street,
all of their dreams still hovered irritable,
buzzing halos of regret,
full of characters drawn from
lust and memory,
now frail as the morning mosquitos.
The fire trucks pass
and I think it's them again
here for more fatal breakfasts. Maybe I could make
them come for
me. Look around, flat boxes shuffled,
waiting for weight. Folders gape, want the postcards
I love still pinned to the
blue leafy fabric, personal forest-
Chagall reposed, hand to chest as if humbly overcome,
as an old man, his cap of black hair, elegant mirth.
Don't sweat it kid, he says, just go look at
one of my paintings,
the drifting lovers, the eternal children,
you are one of them when you want to be.
I won't put him away until the last minute.
I might clutch him to my heart as I walk out the door.