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“Chicago at Night”

Chicago at Night

I was flying into Chicago at night
Watching the lake turn the sky into blue-green smoke
The sun was setting to the left of the plane
And the cabin was filled with an unearthly glow
In 27-D I was behind the wing
Watching landscape roll out
Like credits on a screen
The earth looked like it was lit from within
Like a poorly assembled electrical ball as we moved
Out of the farmlands into the grid
The plan of the city was all that you saw
And all of these people sitting totally still
As the ground raced beneath them thirty thousand feet down

It took an hour, maybe a day
But once I really listened, the noise
Just went away

And I was pretending that I was in a Galaxie 500 video
The stewardess came back and checked on my drink
In the last strings of sunlight, a Bridgette Bardot
There’s a hat on my headphones
Along with those eyes that you get
When your circumstance is movie size

-Liz Phair

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