Passive Aggressive along Snelling Avenue

The bridge is out.
You have no idea

you rejected me. No idea
there was

rejecting to do.
The bridge is out.

Can’t get there
from here—from secret

infatuation to broken
relationship blues

without an instrument—
musical, medical, or

otherwise. My umbrella turns
inside out in the wind.

Mail Box

It’s only a matter
of time before
I get to you. Before

I wrap you
inside my lyric
web where rainwater runs

salty before
sweet. Where praying
mantis myths break

apart as cleanly
as last century love
letters written on

perforated sheets—
unruled. Unruly
and close, another summer

night could go by
without stating
the obvious out loud

to a full moon—more low
hanging fruit
to resist. They say

it’s like riding
a bicycle. Mine has
had no air

in the tires
for a decade.
I keep it

U-locked in
the cellar just in case.
Only a matter

of time. I keep
thieves off the trail
that leads to the real

jewels, booty, swag.

What is there
left to protect?
Only a matter

of time
and distance. I am

the East Coast
Midwestern girl
who tears herself

in two
waiting for you

============ no ===
more ==== black ============== out

Erasure—the last two
lines are not ready.
I’m not ready

to give them—


First impressions
lead to fully swinging a quant to shake all
the low-hanging apples from the oldest
tree in the park. Pears

are another story.
He wouldn’t let her put them
in the fridge. She wouldn’t let him turn her
into a fish

to hook and release. No
punts. Seeds float on the surface
of the creek. It moves

so slowly this far north.
He wasn’t the one
who took her by force.

This Is Really Why

Why would you
brand a hill? The one

with an observatory
watching over it. Where

Jim Carroll told us
to go look at

the fuckin’ stars. Some
of my friends

have died now too.
I get it. Don’t beat up

the mascot cardinal.
We don’t make fun

of your chicken. Okay,
maybe we do.

If I could access
those tunnels again, would I

lose my bearings? My
mind? My swag? A swirl

of graffiti palimpsest
marks the walls—walls

as noisy
with ghosts as those
in Ellis Island station.

I would call it
a bad trip
or underground saudade. If

I had a way in. I am relieved
I don’t.


Pounding on a door
down the hall
to wake up. Then yours. Gas leak.

It’s cold outside
for May. But it’s May.
Neighbors pass

the wine bottle. You accept
the young woman’s blanket
to cover your legs. All clear.

Everyone can go
back inside. Try to sleep
for three hours. Give up. Watch

a solitary figure
walk through
a skyway overhead

on the way
to the train to the plane—

Minneapolis/Saint Paul to
No funerals this time.


Don’t take this strong
black coffee
from us—the ones
who have fallen
from branches,
the ones who land
on our feet, the ones
who count bruises
as little blue blessings
about to bloom,
the ones who may become
overripe. We’ve been so dry—
don’t take away this thirst.

May 15

day two under
the weather
without a ship
without waves
without a horizon
to save me.

BB King and Franz Wright
have died
I’m hiding
beneath rain
that doesn’t fall
and Emily died

on this day
and Walt registered
Leaves of Grass
and the list goes on
as I wait
for a downpour

Her Brackish Breath

Wakes him
to flashbacks. All that

water he wouldn’t
swim in: the length

of the Mississippi,
the Hudson flowing

both ways—half estuary,
half river. The East

River. Who would dare? Who
sings that song?

It’s rhetorical. It’s all
muffled underwater.