Chicago Mornings

Final Version. I despise this. Really.

7:30 am slowly
filters between the
loosely woven,
machine wash cold,
curtain black polyester.
There, the quiet pockets of light
nudge the dozens of wispy onyx blades that
crown the dead end of slumber
until they lose their stance and
finally give way to sunrise.
The exposed tired emeralds fill a sage
halo mapping out the rigid white terrain
stretching across the entire room.
You connect the dots until you see stars.

After finding Leo and Sagittarius
you let the mesmerizing voice of a
humbled somebody's husband
working in your plastic electronic box
sink in and tell you, you're late.
He tells you it's 7:40 am,
time to play your favorite tune.
Your empty seat quakes with the
notes with the L-train far below.
Rattling cheap silver pans
you got on sale last week
Rattling your space and
balancing its speed on the fragile rails
it severs the smooth trail of notes from your radio.

Your body snaps up from your warm cocoon.
Thrown in shambles it continues to
sleep and bake from the rays that woke you.
You dance about in shock and fear as you
fall into the routine of adorning pale flesh
near twisted golden ashYou dance
about as you slip on a Vogue copy
from this month's issueYou slam your locked
door and race down the stairsRacing those
stairs like a child to free ice creamracing like
an adolescent to money and drugsracing today like
there's no tomorrowSo you hit the asphalt running wild.

Running and racing soon turns to waiting.
Only you wait in line for a craving.
A filtered product from a lonely village in Brazil.
A free form need strategically mixed with
clear metallic minerals that live within the
core of which you stand.
But the first sip is never tasted;
the degrees wipe that away.
So cradling with care you cup the cup.

Avoiding a collision on the streets against
the stampede of rubber souls crushing thousands
of tiny pebbles and grains of sand and dirt in their way
with CEO alligator leather lurking beneath
the surface of ordinary wealth.
Unhinging its locked jaws to
strike and smother the poor old deer bending
his head to far in the water.
Minimum wage never had a
good reflection, anyways.

Clearing away from the infested waters
you seek refuge from the busy
morning shuffle onto the narrow
sticky stairs that descend into artificial night.
Your shadows transition foot by foot.
Becoming darker and bolder
with layer upon layer of
crumbling Chicago timeline concrete.
The sparking electrical wiring
and eroded toothpick steel
support frames highlight its age.

After you swipe your plastic for a ride,
you push your heaving body and
now cooled free form Brazilian bean
into the revolving twisted bars
that cage the entrance.
You accompany a lonely,
yawning flickering light
with an equal stance and
feel the dead heat poking at your spine.
You watch night spill from the
black hole channel onto monstrously
grooved bones hundreds peer over
from the ledge to glance at each day.
The sharp fumes choke and invade your lungs
and you never, you never take this train.

But it's the fastest way to get to
42nd street then Jeffersonthe lobby then floor seven
the place you make your green.
Your jeweled eyes collide into the
blinding perpetrator that swallows
all echoes beneath city streets.
The halt scratches at your eardrums
and opens its mouth; consuming
you whole while you cross the
gap in its teeth, taking you where you need to be.

Your current mood transitions into hesitation.
It’s you and them. Heels and harsh words.
Still you settle like a blood cell into its temperature controlled core.
The train rocks forward, germs whisper in a dark corner to your left.
“What it is mothafucka, this is how I roll bitch.” Culture.
Pure history rolled into a booming base.
Spit greasing the handrails.
Chaos ensues as a brother germ boards.
Wife beater loud music vulgar using scum.

Scum, scum, scum.
That’s all this is. This train, these people, the dirt on this floor.
Infecting lost grins, infecting lost moods, infecting the shift of your weight.
The “fuck you’s” and “I love you’s” engraved onto cheap plastic orange
and faded ivory chairs accented with brown. How ugly. How fucking ugly.
But I need this. I need the ugly because I paid for it,
I get the ugly because I had to wake for it.
But this was new once.

This was beautiful and clean and top of the line transportation, once.
But the fresh mask, polished aluminum piping,
and vibrantly molded comfort has long passed.
This beautiful scum got bruised ugly.
Its joints don’t move right.
They jolt and shake,
they creak and scream.

And its eyes.
They are so clouded and scratched, marked and cracked.
But the breathing. Its lungs will fail soon.
So slow and heavy. Twice as slow as its heart beat.
Its damn heart will fail soon, too.

But the smell still lingers.
The smell of black coffee, stale cigarettes,
and a complex crossword puzzle between a cheating widow.
The smell of white lies and a cherry Coke between a brother and sister.
The smell of the sun slipping through inch thick plastic,
melting slight cavities into the flooring from unoccupied glasses.
The smell of tired bodies in moonlight sprawled over Clementine,
Eggshell, and Auburn during rush hour in the heat of night.
The smell of a livid loner engraving his four by three motto into
Clementine’s smooth, sturdy back with his grandfather’s Swiss army knife
and teacher’s permanent marker, just to make it clear.

The rails stick more than usual.
Gravity pulls your purse to stained plastic squares.
Spilling contents upon contents of your cheap synthetic necessities.
You gather what didn’t roll.
A raspy muffle is announced overhead.
Lost vowels spinning from the tip of a parched mouth.
You didn’t catch that, either.
But this monster has had enough of you.
Lips finally part and those familiar fumes get lost in your lungs again.
You can feel the city breathing. The constant mechanical motions are in tune.

Yet now you retrace your steps with a slight backward form of deja vu.
You ascend from the inferno, past the twisted bars,
and past the antique timeline. Emerged unscathed.
Sweet winds from the west carries Giuseppe’s Flowers,
hushing those flushed cheeks. Trailing behind weak petals
then waiting at the corner of 42nd you watch them dance in the breeze.
The light flashes safety and you must leave.

Jefferson greets with his brittle foundation,
the doorman pleads with a smile of anticipation,
your heels click the floors of a thousand tribulations,
and you stand in a box raised to higher elevations.
Then you notice once the doors part from your staff’s organization,
that it’s Saturday.
A day of relaxation.

1 comment:

Jenna said...

Lauren for real. I am so just shocked by how good this is. Your voice comes out in the whole thing. Its scary good. I'd say make a portfolio and make money off of your poems. I gaurentee someone will publish your work. Just the words leap off the page an stick in my mind... Beautiful words lauren. fosho.