On the Anniversary of the Columbian Exposition

Tonight the moon is a homework assignment
disguised as two ripe persimmons. There’s jasmine
in the planter by the basil down the block — mint
growing wild in Chicago, too thick & tough
for scavengers. Darkness too crisp to be

scented, now that the fires are out. New fires begin
in dry-rub jeans, sparking zippers. Tonight
homework is a harvest, interlinear geometry
discarded like a dream as two persimmons
sit ripe on the kitchen table, unsketched —

this fruit, sweet as understanding
what’s seen & never said. This week a man was saved
from blindness, went to a baseball game & wondered
why no one told him how the batter wrung the bat, or
the small step he took before the swing, the little cloud

of dust erupting & the riven time of sight & sound —
grateful to tears, these new small gifts. Tonight
there is no moon. She is wearing purple underthings,
feathers on her necklace, gooseflesh everywhere & blood
in her cheeks as she walks on her hands in the kitchen

before pouring a glass of water — two persimmons, My God
she screamed over Sabotage playing on my phone — no,
Make Some Noise – anyway, the Beastie Boys were playing
& she told me that Chicago was founded in 1833 with 300
people, grew to a million for the World’s Fair, 60 yrs. later —

no city’d grown so fast, she said, & Clyborn was named
after the city’s first butcher. I said this poem
should have ended weeks ago. She was smoking American
Spirit cigarettes on the porch so I locked the door, shut
my ever-traveled eyes & bit into my pert persimmon.