Makeda Loney

Hey, Chicago

Makeda Loney
Hey, Chicago


I can’t tell you how to love me.

I can’t tell me how to love me.

I know that Atlanta

Feels different than Bonaventure

Feels different than Brooklyn

Feels different than you

Yet you still hug my skin just as tight.


The lake.

It feels like an ocean.

Cradling skipping stones

And sailing boats

And drifters.


Holding gazes as they surf down Lakeshore drive.

Holding me from 47th to Museum Campus.

I wonder if anyone in Michigan is looking back at me

Feeling the same thing.



I haven’t been inside of you long enough to

Feel your rhythm.

I can’t tell if we’re moving in sync enough

To make one of us sing,

But I can feel myself on the verge of exploding


See you stole me away from every place that I loved at once

And though I went willingly it still hurt.


My home is empty

The dust has settled

The doubt has nestled its way into my bed

The air is quiet

My soul, it withers

My loneliness trembles while it grows

Oh how it grows

My friends, they haunt me

My lovers, they ghost me

I bury my ashes under my mattress

At the office

In the lake

On North Michigan

In the back of the bus

In wishes of plane tickets and carry-on luggage

Sailing 30,000 ft somewhere.


From up there,

Full lives are turned into flickering lights

Dancing across my retinas.

Skylines become God’s playthings.



I can’t tell you how to love me.

But I can tell you

That you’re helping me learn

How to love myself.