Terminal Tower

Brendan Joyce

It’s beautiful midnight bright. Think:

Cheesecake Factory. The city has gone casino

carpet colored. They have renovated the sky

into a Footlocker uniform. It’s been a decade

since I saw the fountains dance to Stravinsky. It must’ve been curfew weather,

Cuyahoga overcast. The river ripped up into jackknife

black lines. It’s been a minute since I saw you in your briefcase

feelings. I could never make sense of your fluorescent

interiors. Remember? The whole garbage bag walled

off bathroom stall flickered with potential. The hallway

glass throbbed under our pace. Remember? We were in the casino

at the bus stop licking gum out of the carpet. Remember? The crazy quilt

of sweat across your brow was also a city on a hill. Remember? You threw

that party when Reagan died & everybody came but still nobody killed Bush.

Somebody brought tamales. We drank Steel Reserve 211 in the abandoned steel mill.

Remember? I let the tamales fly out of me like the scarab beetles in The Mummy.

We spent the intervening decade of shame learning how to fly. Out the city.

Kept the merch, left the dirt & gravel driveways to be some other kid’s diorama 


The seasons are all fucked up, the birds don’t even know when to fly south anymore.

We’ve replaced autumn with falling real estate prices. Outside Quicken Loans Arena the

scalpers walk a picket line. They chant “No Lebron, No Peace!” Our tiny gods & the seasons

are leaving. In Cleveland, leaving is both the season & shorthand for class treason.

The same guys burning jerseys let cop cars glide by unburnt. The cop on the picket line is 

running for president. The mayor has kissed Dan Gilbert’s championship ring. The

Footlocker Uniform has kissed us all. The Reagan memorial assassinations

have not yet commenced, but when they do,

the casino bright sky will no longer bow

to the people, though we may never get the seasons back.