Chicago Nights

by Jo Lee Dibert-Fitko

Dreams about Chicago.
Six nights in a row.
Rushed feet on crowded walks.
Breezy lake shore drives.
Barren old hotel rooms
with skinny hallways.
Creaky elevators that arrive
when they feel like it.

There's a focus on
thick soled shoes.
ancient carpet with
faded rose patterns.
grey slush splashed
against helpless curbs.
I never see faces,
peaks of towering buildings,
Light fixtures above my head.

In these nightly ventures
ethnic foods skim the surface.
noises crawl through office lobbies,
fast legs are lunch hour strangers.
This nocturnal city
may move me up
from the baseboard heat,
sidewalk cracks and
steaming sewers.

But then again,
fresh grass planted in
soil rich with newness
knows somebody's gonna leave
the first set of prints.
On this seventh night
in Chicago dreams,
the guts of life
begin at the bottom.