20 Degree Angle

For a little over a year, I crossed
the river twice

a day. East to west. West to east. Or,
more precisely

northeast to southwest—
you get the idea.

When I say
The River
with a capital T, capital R,

I believe you know
which one. When I say

The City, capital
T, capital C,
you know.

Thousands of miles
east. Those daily

crossings were loaded
with a weight of sadness

I denied. A denial
I refused to skip

across the surface
of the water
because I never learned

how. People tried
to teach me. I couldn’t get

the hang of it. Never trusted
myself with a flat, cold
stone in my hand.

The way I don’t trust
myself behind the wheel. So by bus,

by bike, or by foot
I would make it

to the other side. Was I
safe? Did I know my world

would become
visibly cracked, thickened,
unskippable soon?

And The City
its own poem

packed with shimmering
smooth surprise

to be opened gently
as a paper fan.

3 thoughts on “20 Degree Angle

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