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doing 65 with the sun breaking
into pieces through the trees
and landing on gold patches along
my arm and shoulder as I sing
along half-heartedly to the radio

and turn in my fingers a mess
of sequestered emotions,
some worn out like tired shoes
and some so young
they borrow their names from
the unfortunate things that
happen to paper and glass.

There is an elegance
to their heavy-set silence,
like pressure on coal.
Like the heart going under
an academic experiment.
For science. For truth.
All pain and discomfort
painstakingly recorded:
on a scale of 1 to 10,
pinching, throbbing,
one-sided, burning,
bearing down.

And my hands that held them
never looked so old.
The afternoon sky so derogatory,
the hour making a somber ceremony
of second chances closing shop
for the day and tomorrow
being eons away.

The highway so endless
and monotonous and un-urgent
and lost.
The narrative not even
venturing outside the lines.

Signal light.
Switch lanes.
Metra Train brushing past with
both reminders and ultimatums of life.

And then the car turns right
towards the horizon on fire
and everything is blinding light
and hardened eyes
and elongated shadows
.

last-light-chicago-by-adam-alexander
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“Last Light Chicago” by photographer Adam Alexander

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