They poured the concrete a hundred years ago,
Toughening until today, settled under its flesh.
You press against its height, wanting to taste lime.
They set fire to the First Ward every year,
Where the same men sit afternoons in the same pubs,
The Polish bakery still sells placek
Too sweet and airy, eaten by children and ghosts.
A city that looks like rust,
Lit up by pre-war fantasies, dancing projections
On grain elevators, string lights across empty warehouses.
Arches of trees along the unfinished edges of someone’s dream,
Meet your neighbor, one of you is always digging,
Gold glows occasionally and the sound rises like the lake.
We’ve tried to disguise ourselves and we lose every time.
The bluegraybrown covers the buildings and the sidewalk,
So you scratch away the walls and look up at the sky,
Which is white, and across the water, which is white.
Look down, something is burning below you.
You find this and it hardens into your bones.
Though she’s a winter baby through and through, Caroline loves nothing more than a Buffalo summer. If you’re not quite sure where Buffalo is and would like a quick lesson in Western New York geography, shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.