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Chicago winters are the longest ever

I have grown tired of slush-covered streets and Ramen noodle dinners. My poems come
slowly and with far less frequency than I claim. Most nights named “at home writing” 
involve too few words and too much wine. My weeks have consisted of half-working the 
job I already quit and half-writing the applications for jobs to replace it, and all I want 
right now is another beer and another bowl of greens and another episode of some poorly 
written but somehow still captivating television show.

Chicago, you’re pushing it with the days and nights inside.
With all of this snow, ALL SIX FEET, I used to long for mountains
 but now I long for flamethrowers.

You are an animal I have not yet raced with, city streets, and you are a lot faster than you look. 
You’re a relentless competitor. I have gotten good at convincing myself that I am 
winning when I am not. I have spun my wheels in Shenandoah river sands and Oklahoma 
gypsum pits. I welcome the traction of your concrete.

Chicago, I need you to be as alive as I was led to believe.
I’m growing accustomed to your grays and browns, but
I need to see your vibrant colors. I need to smell your breath.
I know you take far more pride in your presentation than these odors
of salt truck diesel fumes, these dressings of oily snow and months-buried
garbage. You are way, way sexier than that. I know this because I’ve been
hanging with your poets. Your artists. Your musicians. I’d love to sashay
with them across your parks, but that’s a little difficult when our heels keep getting frozen to your skin, Chicago!

The walls of my apartment are alive, but choking on the snowmelt. My carpet 
is soaked for the cracks in the foundation. There is a massive hole in my kitchen floor where I have placed my dreams. I bury them in coffee grounds and cigarette ashes. They make for good compost, but I’m ready to move them to outdoor plots. I want to help your colors reveal themselves. I’m finally putting down roots.

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