This poem does not reveal until its last line that it is set in Chicago. It is a meditative poem, dealing with ideas rather than concrete reality for the first fourteen lines, until in the fifteenth line it mentions a particular place as "here." From that point, it becomes more specific, telling readers that the place is ruined and desolate before giving the city's particular name. This movement, from general to specific, enables the poem to accomplish two things at once. It describes a modern city that could be any city, so that readers all over the world can picture it in their minds, and it establishes a level of authenticity by showing that Gregg had a particular model in mind when she was writing "A Thirst Against."