Unforeseen

Nets tangled and wet cast
shadows across a step street. An urban
torch flickers. Those narratives

get recorded large and
blotched on skyway
glass back in this middle

where below there’s tonight’s snow—
laced with diamonds—and a full moon
to guide me home.

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Sets Her Right

She almost settles
for a blank page. At the last
minute, she drops

ink—no coloring
inside or outside
the lines. There are none.

Just a geometry
of faith in some kind
of muse. Be it green-tinted

goslings growing by
the second in the grasses
along Lake of the Isles. Or,

some other miracle
still capable of bursting

on the scene upon our poor
wearied planet.

Ain’t Paul (or a Fresh Tale of Two Cities To Come Soon)

The S slipped
or becomes
silent a month before
the Green Line begins
service between the two

cities. Crosses the river
in light rail stitching.
She saw the test train return
to the larger downtown
this morning. Her faith

in imperfection runs
parallel to
coincidence and letters

that sometimes drop
off without warning.

Northern

She believes in triangles—
would rather not
triangulate. Hates crowds,

loves New York. Sees
no contradiction. The third
sister balances

textures with the sound
of a quarter moon
hitting the February sky

over Loring Park. What lies between
Minnesota and New England

are all the stories
she has left
to tell.

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.

26th & Lyndale Again

Dreams that open
vaults might release
phantom lovers
with guitars. Live
music gets played
in a bar
meant for only
one thing—living
to drink. And
she doesn’t
anymore—drink
that is. Rumor
of a nickname
for her
she doesn’t
recognize. VIP
status gets a seat
on a fireplace
hearth. Who
can remember
how their bodies
came to collide
in five
easy moves.
Was it
like this? Probably
not, but a fire
burning on a cold
November night
could dissolve
the need to know.

They Stare at the Spider on the Ceiling

Twenty years ago
social and media did not slow
dance together. We lived

two blocks apart and wrote
letters to each other—sometimes typed,
sometimes handwritten

on the back
of band flyers. Rode bicycles separately
to meet at civil twilight

beside a bench
on the west side of the lake. Carved
our initials into its weather-softened wood

back. Rain could not erase
the way we believed
we could entwine ourselves

into a protective web
to keep echoes of residual melancholy
at bay. That was the summer I became

precious cargo. I hear you are
a happy man now—and I still refuse
to dust corners or become graffiti.

Downed

The longest
day of the year collapses

into darkness
hours too early. Another bout

of extreme
weather rumbles

through—tears trees
from their roots

like a cat
shedding for summer. Power

lost, flash
flooding drowns

the whimsy
of solstice

ceremonies. Dances
over the river

cannot stop it
from spilling over too far.