Juror’s Requiem

Could be small drops
of Eastern European blood
in my veins—a Polish cynic
leaning into the light. Could be
the quiet I seek to escape
into without a translator
to jar me awake. A weekend’s worth
of forgotten dreams and whisperings
sworn on ice
and still

I can’t shake your face
in profile. Presumed innocence
and feature-flattening, color-draining
fear. Your perfectly enunciated
“Thank you!” lifted me
higher than any Art Deco
elevator transporting me
to the top of the Foshay Tower.
It’s a blessing
to choose well.

Downtown Serenity Hour

Today’s investigation, a brand new
skyway smells like

a new car with music seeping through
its air vents. It takes me

through a different artery in the maze. Roots grow
to the first floor becomes a pink lit

W Hotel lobby. A vintage Foshay Tower
elevator car secures

me to the 27th floor. Spectacular view—yes. Cocktails—
yes. Eleven dollar nuts

and nothing else for the likes of me. I could ask
for an espresso but

this is enough discovery for one civil
twilight. Outside’s halo holds

only a spit of pink
inside heliotrope.

They Call It Prohibition

I dream of sipping espresso
from a tiny ceramic cup
in a hotel bar high
above the streets
and skyway. And I tower
over a city that dreams
bigger than it looks. They call it
Prohibition—it’s not illegal
for an alcoholic
to recover the view.