Shimmer: a Love Song to Cleveland

Shine by Mary Platz Hughes

“Shine” by Mary Platz Hughes

Stars that in California glitter hard and crystal
shimmer over our lake.

We eat pierogis and walleye
we read of killers who lure women with promise of love.

We drive by crumbling mansions:
millionaire’s row.

Our emerald necklace is long as God’s arm.
Our children don’t ask why is the sky blue.

We scorn jibes: our river burned first;
we founder in floods on Deadman’s Curve.

We tell dour tales of declining empire.
We read Derf and take pride in our funk.

NASA Glenn lures us to starflight.
Our politicians star in the tabloids.

We make loud music and breed bitter genius.
We drink Nosferatu and Elliot Ness

Drunk on honeysuckle, day-lily, moonflower scent,
we make love on front porches in the blackout night.

We wear pants with elastic waistbands
and thumb noses at New Yorker black dresses.

Our names are unspellable, five consonants in a row:
ski is not a sport to our city, but a family suffix.

We consider moving, but where would we go?
What church in LA serves cabbage roll suppers?

We tell legends of freighters broken in two:
our lake is eerie, our tower is terminal.

We watch cats slink, old sly cats with rumpled fur.
We prevail and grow old. Our stars shimmer.

~ Mary A. Turzillo

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