While in Chicago

Look carefully. See their toothy, lanceolate leaves,
their rigid upright stems, their spiny purple blossoms
crowning tall against commuters’ heels and taxi rubber?

Thistles in metropolis, stronger than jackhammers.
Step aside and give thanks to superheroes. One day,
their vines and thorns will usurp these tracks along the el,

force us to walk again, to breathe and see and ache
and wonder like the humans we are and not the fleeting,
vague and translucent thoughtforms we’ve become.

Tamara Sellman