I go for a walk in East Liberty in heavy rain
No umbrella keeps the direction
the cathedral rises
I swore over the roofs of this city
I would never live in Nico and Kai go shopping
in the giant eagle. I know
he probably takes good care of him
make him laugh and feed him
Cheerios. I could get in my car
and drive up into the big world
Everyone would notice.
Yesterday I was dreaming in a panic
and turned missing too early
the Armstrong Tunnel and pulled up
Washington is trying to get to the south side.
I could see this busy strip curve behind me
in the mirror, but I went up
and away, over the three rivers –
Allegheny and Monongahela hurry
in the Ohio – a shining one
blue body arms in surrender
the hills bright with sunset the fountains
immerse at the point
back in concrete, some people watching
getting smaller and smaller.
I live in a city that I hate sometimes.
I have no job to write on the doctor’s forms.
When my child cries, I often freeze.
I approach the smell of my family
from heavy rain in my hair, want
one way through – but I chose these people
who put up with my hideousness.
I want to run towards this city of my life
like the heroine once at the end of the film
She learned what really matters.
But I’m just going a little faster
Count the lights in old warehouses
Center avenue cut bright squares
the gray air of Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Quarterly is now accepting submissions for its online poetry feature. PQ Poem seeks poems from local, national and international poets that highlight, among other things, a strong voice and good use of images. Send up to three previously unpublished poems in Word or PDF format and a short biography to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your work featured. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. However, if work is accepted elsewhere, please notify us.