Slow Skim

Between the center two
in those chain
of lakes—a channel
becomes a fish

back with ice
floe scales fanning
and breathing
to an invisible

rhythm. Is it the wind
that whips across
unobstructed Calhoun
to get trapped

beneath the overpass?
Or, is it a boat
wake delayed
by suddenly plummeting

temperatures, eventually
rippling through? And
a quiet sloshing
against concrete embankments.

26th & Lyndale Again

Dreams that open
vaults might release
phantom lovers
with guitars. Live
music gets played
in a bar
meant for only
one thing—living
to drink. And
she doesn’t
anymore—drink
that is. Rumor
of a nickname
for her
she doesn’t
recognize. VIP
status gets a seat
on a fireplace
hearth. Who
can remember
how their bodies
came to collide
in five
easy moves.
Was it
like this? Probably
not, but a fire
burning on a cold
November night
could dissolve
the need to know.

Riding Through

Row and rows
of Indiana
corn was my first
real poem. According
to someone
who should know. Did she
really know
what I meant?
Did I? I did—
the ruts from banana
seat bicycle
tires remain.

Day 4,004 Odyssey

Her journey
beyond his
predicting the world
will end breaks

down moments
before she sees
a pigeon die

in the street. Before
Americana loses
its eighth

meaning. But not before
she gets to dance
away his blues

on a boulevard. Cut
down the middle,
she would never murder

rabbits in anyone’s
garden. And he can
respect that—even if
he owns a gun.

Aftermath

Whoever murders
jack-o-lanterns
who are you
supposed to be? Is that mask

removable or
were you born
mean? Nothing

scarier than
a question
save a clown.