Her son rolls a cold beer over his hot forehead.
She imagines a killing wind chill.
Feeling the “el”pass outside this single room,
she makes the sign of the cross,
prays something will make their lives bigger.
Through cocktail-hour smoke a salesman flirts.
She stares at ice building on electric wires outside Trader Vics.
It’s time for some danger, she sighs, caressing her glass.
She cannot rise to the occasion.
He reaches, her free hand dead on the polished bar.
Behind a Rush Street shop window a young woman
arranges carnations with her manicured hands,
incanting: friend, passion, courtship marriage.
A flash: the bedraggled bouquet the clown pulled
from his hat at the circus in Medinah Temple.
In Carnivale a blue-haired woman hounds the busboy:
Does anybody back there have one?
She holds an imaginary cigarette to her lips.
Shuffling a family of dinnerware, he disappears
through gray doors flapping like missed handclaps.
Marc J. Frazier has been widely published in journals including The Spoon River Poetry Review, ACM, Caveat Lector, Cumberland Poetry Review, Slant, Permafrost, Plainsongs, Poet Lore, Rhino, Eclipse, The Broome Review, descant, and The G W Review. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for poetry. Frazier has had several residencies at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois and has done numerous readings in the Chicago area. His first book The Way Here and his chapbook The Gods of the Grand Resort are both available at Amazon books. His second chapbook, After, is currently available for preorder from Finishing Line Press. A full-length collection titled Each Thing Touches is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press. His website is www.marcfrazier.org.