The Midwest Is Alive Tonight

In Hammond Indiana
the blue and red lights of the
Horseshoe Casino are blinking
domino style.
A dull foreground of
the purpose and orange canvas
that streaks fire
across the sky
Brushstrokes of an artist
who decided to go out with a bang

Dark silhouettes emerge as
nocturnal picture frames
Iron bridges crisscross behind
black broccoli top trees and
square factories with
heavy heads hung low

Little cars speed thru quiet towns
headed toward cities
never catching a glimpse of
viridian fields of horsetail and bear grass
prehistoric creatures hiding
like trapped villagers under siege

On the outskirts of Chicago
old warehouse sit like grandfathers on park benches
bodies made of red bricks that
absorb the summer’s heat
and sit on mass graves of
gang members
gone before their time

Not far down I-94
sits a shy coquette
waiting for someone to notice

Detroit begins to throb
late in the day
a ne’er-do-well with
no one to answer to
scratching furry armpits made of
tall grasses growing wild in
vacant lots where golden pheasants roos

waking up to a dull and familiar
thump-thump that comes from underneath
cracked asphalt and crooked streets

a tired heart
still beating.


Cassie Frank, Class of 2007