The Buildings of the Dream by Cole McInerney

Electric Power Transmission Corridor. Photo by Cole McInerney

The Riall Heights Plaza was a refuge in all weather 

You come
through the door,
yelling about the Republican Party
and the pandemic response,
high on speed.
Magnifying the voices
of breathless men
who score the TV.
Winning in the poll,
losing as I leave.

Racing the sparkling,
champagne SUVs
which pour down the street.
Asking for a truce
once they take the lead.
Passing a string of houses
with front yard pesticides
and driveway gates.
The kid sleeping inside,
born with a royal name.

Settling at the commercial plaza
which shelters a bar,
campaign office,
and other businesses;
which end and begin to end again.
Beneath the desperate cover
of a patio umbrella,
I find a childhood friend.
just as the rain collapses
on the peeling parking lot.

We talk about holidays,
the pitcher pricing,
and attempting to forget
every lie we’ve told,
as we create the next.
The rain moves on
in a moment of disbelief.
Likely toward downtown.
Standing to walk home, he says
you better not fucking die.

Source: The author, 2021

Cole McInerney is a poet from Niagara Falls, Ontario. He studied English at Toronto Metropolitan University. Currently, he is a MFA student at the University of South Carolina, studying poetry. His poems have been published in several print and online publications, including Feral Poetry, White Wall Review, The Bookends Review, and Echolocation Magazine

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See all of Cole McInerney’s poems on the Niagara Falls Poetry Project website:

•     The Buildings of the Dream
•     Convenient Corner
•     Lake Erie
•     Russell Street

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