Posted by: Viola | July 17, 2015

Love Letter to Chicago

Love Letter to Chicago

by Viola Allo

Dear Chicago: Some people come to you to see your sights. They come to touch your waters and run with your winds. But I came to you for my words, journeyed into you for my poems, stayed with you for my soul. I came to you to test and taste my own voice. And so, some might say, your sights were lost on me. And your elements only peripheral to what was most meaningful to me. But I am thankful. I am so very thankful. Thankful that you rained but not too heavily. Thankful that you stormed but only very briefly. Thankful that you gave me warmth but never over-heated me. Thankful that you held me for a week but also let me be. Thankful that you invited me, welcomed me, but then you let me go. You set me free.

I thought about you, Chicago, when I was at the airport. I thought about what you have done for me. I thought about the you I did not see, even as you opened my eyes to a whole new view of me. I thought of how generous a lover can be. How self-less, how giving. I thought of you, Chicago. At the airport, when the plane would not come. When it was delayed and then delayed again, I thought lovingly of you. How patient you were with me when I arrived, and how long you must have waited for me. I remembered how kindness is about being generous with patience. I remembered so many things, thanks to you. I remembered how love is about time. I remember now. Just how much love truly is about being generous with time. Always, always, always. Love is time.

Will you wait for me some more, Chicago? Will you stay this way, so kind and so giving, and forever so? Will you stay with me? Will you let me stay with you? Will you let me bring my words again to you and offer them up to your heart? Will you listen to me, will you hear me speak, will you love my voice? Oh, Chicago, please take my words. Please kiss them. Please love them. Please forgive me. Please do not forget me. Please love me. Please want me. Please take me. Please let me go. Please let me be. Please let me live. Please let me eat. Please let me breathe.

Where is my plane, Chicago? Please release me. Let my plane come. Let my plane take me away. Don’t let me wait too long. Oh, Chicago, please send me away. Please pity me. Let me sleep. Let me lie down on the hard floor, because the torn chair is taken in the terminal where so many people have been trapped. Let me lie down and close my eyes. I cannot look at you anymore. I am so tired. I gave you my soul. I gave you the best of me. Let me keep my eyes. Let me keep this weary body, so worn out from all the words passing through me. And just let me go in peace. Love me.

I see my plane coming, from the east. Finally it comes. Finally the celestial hand has come to take me to a place where I can rest. Let it carry me. Release my feet, oh, Chicago. Release my limbs, broken bird that I am. Let me turn to the one who gives wings away. Let me beg for a pair. Let me go and get away. I am so sorry to leave you. To leave your lips with nothing but words. I am so sorry to leave you with nothing but these photos dissolving in the rain. I am so torn, so devastated that I am nothing and you are everything. But you love me all the same. So much that you want me to be something, even though I may never be. But let me journey into the sky. Maybe up there, I will find a new body to borrow and bring back down and place gently on the grass for you.

Wait for me, please. And look away from me. Then see someone looking at you, coming to you again, with more light and more love. There is always more light and always more love to come, always more the next time. So wait for me. Wait for me.


By Viola Allo. All rights reserved. Please contact the author for permission to use or share this poem.



  1. Indeed, love is time. Wouldn’t we do well to remember this more often when we worry about not giving our loved ones enough stuff, instead of not giving them enough time … and it’s not even a matter of give them what they need not what they want, because this one time it is both … beautiful rhapsody of Chicago Viola.

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