Wind Chill Civil Dawn

Beautiful to watch
from a well-sealed
window. Nothing

gets taken
for granted. Feels like

a drop
in ambient thought.
The essential reveals

itself against a pale blue
cloudless sky. Another day

where hope just might burst
through burns awake
to break convection’s hold.

H2O: Same as Water

Questions about
the history of ice hover

in the coffee
bar air. Little plastic
green army

men are strewn
across a mezzanine
floor. The child
whom they belong to

hums in a corner.
All I can think is
someone will slip

and fall on ice
or war.

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.

LaSalle Avenue

Ice bevels
on the sidewalks where property
owners forget what they own. Pedestrian
and unlanded, I perform
penguin walks for too many blocks.
And the sun—the sun, it taunts
the frozen landscape
to no effect.

Beginning with Red

Light pollution
enhances her cravings
for the perfect
constellation, for an evening
spent outdoors
without fear. Each wave
lengthens or shrinks
to spell out
new acts of bravery
in a host of colors
beginning with red,
ending up yellow
just before it turns
green. Snow piled
on a skylight won’t last.