Pittsburgh 38

In Hitler's day our Polish housewives strutted
Downtown, sailed their thin dresses.
Brassieres were full of beer,
big arms were made of
suicide inside.

Streetcars went by, red cans of soup,
I heard the circuit breakers pop.
We thought we lived forever in short pants,
cold air touched the insides of my thighs
and buildings turned like elephants.

The Allegheny County Courthouse,
our black elephant in cut stone,
walked on the White Tower hamburger stand
at Grand and Diamond.

Or do we forget?
Steel flew many rainbows at night,
news was bad, trees were amber, streets were rough.
And numbers of those days lay together,
when we still couldn't kill
each other enough.