Chicago blues

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Lance Sheridan

Every fiber of wind made the rain more vivid,
And it did not matter where it lay wet
In a paler set of colors, quieter on a pavement,
Mute, twitching so, unbothered, staying put
According to habit; hoping so to be skyward again
In a blueness, in a sun dawn awakening,
Pure as a pane of ice stiff in a glass, sumped in a swallow.

The other sober part of me read like a funny paper
On a Sunday morning. The sawdust saloon floor was
In a hard condition. Patrons eyes were cloudy and grey
With hollow, meaningless stares. Mouths were crooked
Taking pleasure from a nicotine drag; noses, a dusky red.
Words were slurred and dirty, canopied and wasted;
I was already beaten with an emptiness, so no remorse.

Far off, the banshee cry of an ambulance, desperate
For a hospital- white and pure with the dregs, the failures,

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