Another Chicago Magazine

Rescue

Dream City, by Joyce Polance

All night we held each other
beside the East River.
It was summer, no blanket.
A parquet floor.

This was Manhattan,
not Chicago.
This was Chicago
in a soothsayer’s outfit.

He was not my father.
It was I who could not sleep,
who blessed the rooms
with holy water.

I’d stayed all night,
the sun on the river
all glittering sequins,
spangles on a gown.

No, that’s not right.
A blanket, a Persian carpet.
It was winter. I heard
a voice commanding

go to him child. It was I
who saw the gun
and stopped the train,
noir heroine

mistaking pity for love,
telling the doctor
I am not his sister
who drowned.