Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge

Would she know
balance if 

it knocked her off
this pedestrian bridge 

she stands on? Closed
for repairs starting tomorrow, 

it could be
another unreliable witness.

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Written on the Skin

Total exposure before a second
full moon passes over 

the sky to our right is my wrong
impulse—the one I don’t have 

the courage to plunge into darkness.
I still can’t explain why 

a morning ghost
moon makes me want 

to believe in mystery’s propulsion
over city lights.

Trying to Get Lost in Kenwood

At the corner of Thomas
and Upton—a crossing that wasn’t 

supposed to happen—she walks under the right canopy
of trees. A layer of fear shed, it leaves 

no mark on the sidewalk. 

Some spills are meant to remain
invisible to everything but the slightest breeze.

Loring Park Daily

A commotion of geese flaps across 

this paved way to go in circles 

through my front yard I share 

with anyone willing to show up. My struggle 

to take off is my refusal 

to drop the weight of every moment 

but this one. This one 

could be my soar.  Could.

Rhymes with Guile

To be remembered for this.  She’ll accept the evaporation 

of all other details in buckling concrete. 

Tree roots need somewhere to go.  The downturn 

confused with a bow arched toward rooftop wild 

flowers—it’s taken 

a lifetime to learn to let these curves 

cradle what they may.

Suspension Feeding

When she disappears
into the atmosphere, will you 

remember the shape her mouth was in
when she last said 

your name, when she stepped back
from that kiss? A poet skirts 

in and around surfaces
seeking a place to attach herself to. 

It’s a barnacle
life—she’s always preferred the underside
of piers.

Another Pronunciation

Saudade isn’t saudade
if it is satisfied. When she least expects it, 

other dreams come
into focus under the lights. Dust 

of desire becomes frenzied
particles she won’t try to collect. She’s reaching 

over the fence with its crumbling limestone
foundation to touch another’s— 

carefully stacked against the wrought-iron grille.
She won’t see 

the Atlantic tomorrow,
but she’ll get very close.

Obvious

Inspiration in the spit
laden air, in the sequence 

of events from lake to balcony
to converted house to nailing down 

these recalcitrant emotions
with a red hammer 

(yes, it must be red).
I’m no butterfly 

catcher, am afraid
to pin down wings 

gently with my thumb.
I still need to let them fly 

off to endanger you
to my vulnerable side.