Above the roller-coaster rain clouds,
there's a moment when the wing tip of the plane
cuts seamlessly into serene blue as it banks
over Chicago. It's a layover in the sunlit limbo
of the hope island, its tranquil azure meadow afloat
with faux sheep, each one like 'ile flottante',
cotton candy, dessert of the day.
This is lofty communion in the Archdiocese of the Sky,
superior to that of Holy Name Cathedral where you broke
bread with shades of 1870s parishioners, consigned
to the company of of North Side gangster Hymie Weiss,
and two luckless henchmen, whacked to a nonstop flight
across the street from, not the First, Second, or Third,
but the Fourth Presbyterian's Gothic gathering place
where a cornerstone inscription on the church still bears
bullet marks of the murders. Masses of flowers
sent to the grieving widows. Nothing
"personal', you understand--Just business! Ah Yes!
American Organized Crime and Charity!
Outside Fourth Presbyterian's Gothic facade, its carved
stone tympanum a legless man sits in his stations-
of-the cross wheelchair, dispensing Sunday cheer
and greetings, no Tommy gun in sight. So much the pity,
leaving Chicago without violence, just churches, lore
of gangsters, a riveting river, and speakeasies.
As the plane banks into the marshmallow topping
over Minnesota in its descent to the Janus Cities,
the bird-head jet pods still face Chicago. Wind flaps
gape wide in a noiseless scream, and across the sky's
white flatland, ice castles rise in which live
the frosty angels of Yes and No.
Copyright © Nola Perez