Lola Haskins

Dearborn North Apartments

Chicago, Illinois
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 as you walk in
which is probably only the heat coming on
or the floorboards settling. So when you
fling your coat to its peg in the hall, kick
off your heels, 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.

Lola Haskins
Lola Haskins is a director of From the Fishouse. She is the author of eight collections of poetry. Dearborn North Apartments is from Desire Lines (BOA, 2004).
Poem, copyright © Lola Haskins, 2004
Appearing on the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse