Detroit Poem: “I Love You (The Heidelberg Project)” by Leslie Reese

I Love You (The Heidelberg Project)

for Tyree Guyton

I love you
I know the workings seem obtuse
in this rubble glitter sanctuary
you portrait my face like doll’s
my knees burnt by pavement and
eye-blinking teeth-missing kids
heartflowers from a window box of
thundering polka-dots Heidelberg Dots
& new psalms scripted in the queen anne’s lace

your face is peeling off the
side of the house
flying like penny candy kickball
mining memory banks
with the dull ends of abandonment
spotted and dotted by your tender blinks and tiddlywinks
numbering my love letters loud:
like a dixieland horn section
blazing a tear of trust in the house to obstruct the just

dream phases you send me through
dripping deep pink sky
wailing sirens forever in the
haunted house of
motown metallica chug mouth industrial exhaust

I can’t seem to
peel that crust off, that rust
like whitewash
or the cornstarch our children
will come to crave the crunch of
rust and mildew and faded grins

letting your question marks be the divining rod
through the history of my body of
big white teeth and GOD

spinning our urban weather vane and
inside it. I know I am hanging right side up in your tree brain
tricycling spine-tickling
mustachioed. brilliantly resilient, shaming
cowardice heads and eyeless traitors
shampoo my shoes with rain and nostalgia. I gotta be moving on.
what time o’clock shall we hoist and caravan our suitcases?


View great photos and learn more about The Heidelberg Project here.
This poem was first published in DRUMVOICES Revue (vol. 9 #’s 1 & 2) and Abandon Automobile.


  1. This is like a spoken-word parallel to Tyree’s kaleidoscopic montage of life. A glimpse into the creative brains of artists.

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