Where’s the Frozen River?

I sit beneath a painting of Kerouac
in thick shades
of gray and try to digest

the fact that I am older than he
will ever be. I should
be so privileged to pass

Emily and Virginia. I’ll prefer
mine lilac and thinner
than the rim of ice

hovering along these northern banks
of the Mississippi. This January
moves unnaturally fast.

Emily Said It Too

This light has no logic.
It heats up tinted
images of you wrapping
around the walls 

inside my solar
of make believe. No outside
truth will seep through
to stain your well-defined 

face. The moment talked about,
its contracting destination
point, hangs 

in suspension. We 

don’t get there
from here. And that word
I meant to say, but
didn’t dare, is the only way 

to arrive at your timbre. It’s up
there too, with its swinging “y”
tail making an underline
exclamation beneath 

its other three
letters. They’re up
there to whip subtle
movements off 

their hinges. Big,
bold, block pronouncements
too heavy not to fall
eventually.