Mississippi Privilege

A companion piece to vintage
postcard greetings, she says hello
to the big river. A swelling

to the brim, this year’s crest still won’t surpass
her expectations—no spilling over downtown
banks. On her ridge

a mile west, she pays
better attention to new lakes
as they make appearances

at street corners. She knows a flood
is no mean fate. Sand bag
preparedness may suffice

here. Oceans away atrocity
continues to rise beyond
calculation and mashed-up time.

Character to Go

No time to explore
the lobby so make it 

up as you charge
down the back stair 

well. A dry one.
Not a drunk in sight. No mirrors 

or reflective glass
walls to encase you 

in your own reprieve
from the next flood. A drought 

at another bottom. You’ve read
the views bind guests 

to spells of stillness.
It’s not the pause 

in your story. Are you
that delusional, or are you the real 

omnipotent narrator come to quell
the intrusive one?

Prelude to a Season and

Your cold retreat just days
before becoming
officially on 

is a cruel dance
on last night’s sighs
into a buoyant civil 

dusk. You turn
me on only to turn
your back to my naked 

fantasies of an us—two
turtles on a broken branch
over the rising river. 

It crests in the valley
at the convergence 

of the small into
the mighty. Floods 

a grain terminal
in new repurpose, drowns
an island for now, distracts 

me from your absence.
This pulled-up leather
collar collides 

with that last image
I’ve been working
into you.