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Chicago

Chicago doesn’t have the French for what she’s seeing, but she needs it. English isn’t concise enough: she’d have to list cogwheels and levers by name, belts and screws and mangles. There are wax cylinders and ribbon cables, great discs on arms and tiny hydraulic tubes, the hiss of steam and an electric hum. Some pieces are gleaming and some are shattered. None of it ever stops moving.

Not far above her are people, cars and the lazy downtown sun: Chicago sees the arms rising into darkness and thinks, maybe she does have the French. Machinerie, diablerie, éminence grise. Grand Guignol.

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