Seen Through Fog

There’s a story behind
Staten Island Ferry
orange. I can’t tell
it but can hear its tone
revealed in a soothing voice-

over through early morning fog.
Routine commuting becomes heightened
by the transcendent
moments before
the marathon begins

on the Verrazano
Narrows Bridge. By a skyline
permanently scarred, by a keel
built with steel
from collapsed towers, by film

and TV footage of our favorite
characters crossing one way
or the other. Sometimes someone
who’s had too much
winds up where he started

without getting closer
to home. Color

declares, or hides, or widens
the channel for multiple
interpretations. Always the same
orange, always the same
distance either way.

Of Unsalted Seas

A giant billboard boasts
the intrinsic appeal
of Duluth in winter. A woman paces back

and forth beside a café table
as she talks on her cell. I wouldn’t
want to live in a cave

or a cell or
Duluth any time
of year. I’m always early—

overestimating the duration
of everything. I might wait
in a cave

or a cell
for a meeting with one of those blues
harp players who’s never

on time. I don’t think
I’d wait in Duluth.

Town & Country

She sees an old station
wagon with faux wood
paneling parked on the street
outside the Armory—now a parking
garage. In by 9, stay till 3
for the early bird special. It’s not

the ‘70s. She can’t hear Johnny
Nash sing “I Can See Clearly Now”

from an AM radio. Nothing
good can come from trying
to go back there. In a dream,
she is driving to Texas
on interstates in the dark
behind her sister and brother-in-law

till she remembers:
she doesn’t drive.