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I was born in Chicago. That doesn’t mean too much to me, though, since I didn’t live there for very long, and I have no memory of it. And yet, when I return to the city, something calls to me. Likely my own desire for a starting place, a ground of my origin, a point to return to again and again. Would I feel the same pull to the place if I didn’t know it was “mine” somehow, if I’d been born there, but didn’t know it? I’d like to think so, but I doubt it.

I am home again. To Portland, the place that is only home for now. For another month or so. How often I say this in my blog. I’m going away. I’m returning home. I’m traveling. I’ve returned. It’s a pattern that’s become habit, and which I only think about now, as I’m getting ready to change my home yet again. To a place unseen.

I don’t want to say much about the conference I was at in Chicago. It was wonderful and sad. It’s my last event like that, with the people I love. Instead, I’ll do something I never do, which is share a raw poem. Each conference, there are half a dozen of us who write poems. Someone comes up with a topic on the first day, and we all create a poem while we’re at the event, then share them on the last day. This was my last time to do this, at least in person. So here it is, writing while waiting for the snow to blanket us in Chicago:

Awaiting the Blizzard

From the thirty-third floor, she can see forever.
Or at least across the bay. The view isn’t

what she expected, the constant
round and round of the ferris wheel.

It is summer, and the man with his arm around
her plumped waist has bought her spun sugar wrapped

in clouds, treaded the pier tongue-first to seek for salt,
held her hands to earth like errant balloons.

It isn’t the water that turns her, but the promise
of flurries in her hair, as soft as lashes.

At night, she sinks beneath down blankets and
the weight of his heavy bones. Sweat the only

thing that rises, each breath a ragged clip.
Even the minibar is out of ice.

In Houston, a bird man perches on a shoulder,
looks to the sky for signs before he crosses,

thinks he can see his reflection before he cracks it.
In her dreams, it snows and snows again,

covering her backward steps, the three-toed tracks,
the blank place where she leaps to take wing.


Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

“Like all of us in this storm between birth and death, I can wreak no great changes on the world, only small changes for the better, I hope, in the lives of those I love.” ~Dean Koontz

PS – “Birth of a Venus” photo by this artist.