Milwaukee Avenue is a River

tabby cat gazes at,
window wide waiting
for a package to float

Milwaukee Ave is a river
pools around the park
& continues south

boarded up windows house rats
persistent urban beavers
what would be dowitchers or
whimbrels: hawkeyed pigeons
squatting sidewalk banks

god’s own image catches fitful
winks of sleep under concrete
shade of ash
sad clown perpetually smokes
grape blunts, peddles shrinking
balloon animals

grass shoots up sidewalk cracks
mint detonates bitter purple
for those with nowhere else to be
Milwaukee Ave is the only source of fresh

Elegy for the Man I Did Not Know

midsummer Saturday, unseasonably cool & sunless
you are covered by a sheet, anonymous as you ever were
your friends ever gathered
beneath the bus shelter on Milwaukee,
arguing somber in Polish

funeral bouquet of cops & yellow tape
designated by the city that failed to
house you, feed you, love you

I did see your body once two days
in the same spot, distended surrounded
by your friends drinking & pissing
I thought you asleep
with nowhere else to go

Photo by Edgaras Vaicikevicius.

Sivan Spector

Sivan Spector is a Chicago-based poet, puppeteer, and theater maker. Her other work includes original puppet shows, playwriting, and various regional acting and directing credits. When not writing or onstage, she can be found teaching theater, taking a walk in her Chicago neighborhood, or visiting the grand Lake Michigan. She is extremely grateful to Great Lakes Review for publishing her work, and to her dear friend Addi Kamb for her poetry mentorship.