Nik Kovac, Milwaukee’s east side alderman
emerges out a lobby elevator in his usual blazer
but a pair of swim trunks are peeking out of his pocket.
He says he came to swim in the highest pool in town,
“It defies physics to have a pool on the 23rd floor.”
I learn you do not have to settle for physics.
I meet a biomolecular engineer at the bar
and this is not a joke
when he says he works with cells every day
hoping to make medical costs a lot cheaper
by manufacturing synthetic bacteria.
A woman passes by wearing several necklaces
they slap with each step
I wonder why
the mardi gras beads in June?
Could she be part of a bachelorette party?
I just saw one pass through
sporting tutus, feather boas,
cyan, magenta and royal purple
and the bride-to-be wore her veil
sprinkled with penis shaped confetti.
“You have a vibrant population here,”
says a man in the lounge who moved here
not too long ago from Omaha,
“as soon as it turns 50 degrees
they are running around in shorts,
so sunshine and warmth deprived.”
He says this as “Hotel California”
plays on the piano
a version so passionate
that as it swells I can just see
the cold weather joggers striding forward
with tragic longing for its melodic paradise.
Two (friends?) walk down the hall
one has their head bent down,
thumbs wildly divining light
from an electronic tablet thinger.
The other person walks forward, alert
not to keep their company
so much as to keep the person with the tablet
from running into a wall or corner
just like what a seeing-eye dog
would do for a friend.
His wife takes him here every 4-6 months
so he can wait for her
while she colors her roots.
Today he decided to ride the elevator
and because there are currently two weddings
in progress, he rode up with a large wedding cake.
Someone asked him about the cake
thinking that he had baked it
“Nope, I’m not a $3,000 cake guy,” he said
and rode back down to read Walter Mosley
on a couch in the corridor until his wife
returned freshly auburn.
There was a tasting today
in preparation for a big party
so someone had to choose
between the lobster and steak
or the sea bass and steak.
They chose the lobster.
Mr. Marcus’s bust went to a banquet,
but he returned this afternoon.