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Dearborn North Apartments by Lola Haskins

Dearborn North Apartments

Chicago, Illinois

by Lola Haskins

Rows of rectangles rise, set into brick.

And in every rectangle, there is a lamp.

Why should there be a lamp in every window?

Because in all this wide city, there is not

enough light. Because the young in the world

are crazy for light and the old are afraid

it will leave them. Because whoever you are,

if you come home late but it looks like noon,

you won’t tense at the click when you walk in

which is probably after all only the heat

coming on, or the floorboards settling.

So when you fling your coat to its peg in

the hall, and kick off your heels, and unzip

your black velvet at that odd vee’d angle as if

someone were twisting your arm from behind,

then reach inside the closet for a hanger,

just to the dark left where the dresses live,

what happens next is a complete surprise.

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