Monterey Bay

If science is fiction, let no oil
touch her skin under any narrative
current. A miracle

of protection, it remains dry
over a lifetime submerged
in water. She clings

to kelp forests. Air
bubbles are necessary.

Red Wing’s Bay Point

She stands beside the wooden no wake
sign to calm those rumblings
inside, steps on a bed of soft,
overripe crabapples

by accident. Laughter
in the slippage. She’s been to the island no state
wishes to claim across the channel—prefers
it from this side. Terror is

a walk across the High Bridge that ties
Minnesota and Wisconsin together
along Highway 63. A club soda to gulp
in the Harbor Bar outside wooded campgrounds.

Yes, vista rather than destination.

Red Wing

To be plum
with the river, or a bluff

quarried but still projecting
as a barn for the gods,

is
to be at all

bliss on a high bridge
or barge passing beneath.

Bliss

“He was BEAT—the root, the soul of Beatific. What was he knowing?”
—Jack Kerouac, On the Road

She packs up her traveling self again, seeks
a lightened load for a one night stand

beside the river and its Red Wing rumblings.
Any way to break

the ceramic cast
to her routine deserves a look. This romantic getaway

has room for only one
on the upper deck of the Empire Builder. First stop

and she’s off
tracks on the trail toward bluffs ahead.

Hoodwink

When she who is a cowlick
becomes a main character in high anxiety
drama playing through intersections, it’s time

to remove all straight lines, time
to take the long way home on foot.

Bixby Bridge

The crossing goes by
too fast, the span
and stretch will remain imprinted
on my memory reel as long as

they do. Who’s to say
I will carry this one
with me longer than any other bridge
I’ve committed

to memory. Part of the collection
of true spectaculars, it stands
a chance of rising
often and with force.

Visage Behind a Vista

Distressed fabric, I
did it the hard way.
These creases are real—I
only wish I had smiled more
when these uncloaked
skies came into view.