Slow Skim

Between the center two
in those chain
of lakes—a channel
becomes a fish

back with ice
floe scales fanning
and breathing
to an invisible

rhythm. Is it the wind
that whips across
unobstructed Calhoun
to get trapped

beneath the overpass?
Or, is it a boat
wake delayed
by suddenly plummeting

temperatures, eventually
rippling through? And
a quiet sloshing
against concrete embankments.

Risk Crossing

And more deadlines to meet
even in dreams. With extra

obstacles and an octopus
of black power

cords that need to get
from A to B

before dawn. And the fishing
might be

good if it rains. And that man
who walks his Cavalier

King Charles
Spaniel near the archery

range just might be
the last man she kissed good-night.

Islands of Virgin Woods

A stack of canoes banked
on a rack beside the canal
between two lakes is a chain

gang of my former lovers. Release
the bungee cord fasteners, free
one from the group to use. Glide

through flat water
on a sunny afternoon till it turns
into black sky and heavy rain. Plunge

the paddles, pick up the pace.
If I don’t return
this one, I won’t get another

one to damage—or
be damaged by.

Toward 26th & Lyndale

Common Roots not the CC
these days. Urban beavers, the storms
of early summer leave barricades

to lake connecting channel paths
I want to follow. I bless
reversible steps—duck and dart

back through without
a scratch. Not going to play pool
in a darkened bar on a sunny afternoon

the way we used to waste
time. I’m still learning the definition

of precious. You’re in it—
and gone forever.