Gets Dark So Early Late

Gets Dark So Early Late | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Isle of the Dead, etching by Max Klinger, 1887. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The dead have the whole city to think with
the fla-vor-ice tube the whole tongue cherry red.
Trapped below the lake, the slow sharp breath,
the mottle, the dogskin, the fiberglass, the uncertain
waterlight’s advance. This is the uniformity
we imagined the future with. This is a future that came late
to the upper Midwest, but when it did, set gray panels
in tan brick and chirred with the whippoorwill
trapped in the quivering Walgreen’s door. Will
this city ever look like anything more
than dying on television, gunshot in its moment of wonder?
Forgive me talking about them twice. Where the dead go
diving to exhale Chicago, there is that light I mentioned
splitting their eyes. There is water carrying their names.
Something slips from them and we see the waves.

Max Schleicher works as a digital marketer in Chicago.
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