One Night in the Flats

Claustrophobia can be triggered
at any moment in the cabin.
Who else hears you twist
those lyrics? Another girl jumps off

a moving merry-go-round
to change her life.
An island
known for brass

rings, clay cliffs, mechanical sharks, cars going off bridges. The back of a jet

heading west. Potholes
in the sky over the Great Lakes.
A radio station rented yacht
called Heartbreak Hotel docks.

The Cuyahoga at civil twilight. It’s all
so close—

the oxbow bend in the river,
an old jackknife rail bridge,
waterfront amphitheater, beer on tap,
royal blue floral baby

doll dress with pockets.
In front of the crowd, you ask:

“Is it mine?”

Everyone cracks up till you leap
off the stage to kiss me.

Nothing there to be yours yet.
Clothes off, jokes on
all night. One letter. One phone call.
One replacement. One souvenir heart.

Then it’s gone. Too much
blood on the bathroom floor.

Name. It.
I dare you. Thought so.

Descending over the Mississippi,
a landing so smooth.

2 thoughts on “One Night in the Flats

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