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City Hall, Milwaukee, WI

Some women gather who lent their bodies
to war. A city beautiful the back
of the card says. On the left,

the Jung Building [pool of light
round the entrance
]. In my latest dream,
last night, I was whacked over

the head with some plate glass and done
hard with a municipal phallus. A shot
tower maybe smokestack. Nothing
above us but shadows of ourselves in flight.

I wolf down several tea sandwiches
recalling my lack of service abroad
but how I made missiles at home and walked
in buxom formation past lonely soldiers.
We were needed in wartime; now

consigned to kitchens suspended
in towns you can read on our name tags [home].
It’s time for our wombs to unleash
a sort of boom upon the subdivision.

I am not scared of these streets.
My children will be. The neighborhood
changing and all. Let’s go in five years
or so to the green side and pump
out a few. The brave thing is not war
but sticking Milwaukee out
until the last possible second of safety.

Another dream: the city’s claws
progressed toward the sea. From the ground
they appeared as camo tentacles,
wavering over the freeway. From the air
they recalled the glory that brought me here,
clean into reunion.
Posted 12/02/12
from a manuscript based on vintage postcards.
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