Move Scenario

She’s going to write another
poem about how she almost

moved
to Georgia. And she’ll use
move

at least two more times
before finding relief

for a blistered left
thumb. This burn—an accident.

An embarrassment.
An encounter
with a flat

iron nothing like the wedge
of a building where her former

self began.
Then the move
back

to Connecticut, then the big one
to Minneapolis—not Athens.

One music town
or another
moves

ahead. A northern girl
in the end—so far.

Hermit Crab

Whoever can write
about home on demand
has never been challenged
by the prospect of losing
its meaning. The place where I was born

holds no promise
of belonging. Have seen it
once since I left at six
months. Where I met my husband
means nothing because

there is no husband. If home is
where you hang
yourself, I can almost call this town
on the Mississippi the place. Almost. But
what about The City? The Atlantic Ocean?

It could be where you build
your own Take No Heroes Hotel
from some abandoned structure
with former lives peaking through.

Saudade Exchange Rate

Let this table not wobble, my coffee
not spill. Let me not offend

an old friend, remember how
to pronounce the name of your hometown

before I get there. Let it not rain
in New York City

Friday night. Let me discover alternative
spellings for closure, stop trying

to recall how you greeted and bid me
farewell—how I loved it so much

I kept it a secret
even from myself. Let me learn

how to write a grant to pay
for all this incurable longing

neither of us could afford.

Bridge

For MJN crossing beneath,
for NYC connecting across,
for The Brooklyn Bridge rescue working destiny

Advance your vantage
point, collapse
your facade of steel,
your gutted concrete floor.

Collide your bridge maker
with mine, collage your hand over mouth
with my eyes shut,
vocal chords in strangulation—

a scream
a void

to coalesce to convalesce
on one promenade
of material unidentifiable yet.
Coordinate the crossing—

bare feet
dust
ash caked faces

no veil could protect,
suits meaningless, ties undone
till they become arms swaying.
A human chain

of events. A human
behavior changing—
never
no way
when
now.

They designed bridges
to be passageways.
Make them good
to get no further

than this. It is still where it has been,
the destination stands
between these pedestrian elevating towers
still here.

 

Roots System Hardiness

Minneapolis, zone 4 more so
than 5. New York City, 7. Only odd ones
get full excavation
treatment for this reassembled

world. Don’t forget tonight’s hard
working crooner, guitar
string shredder. Buy the music
for now and for another

night, for this and another
man who would put himself
back together in new time—
more so than zone.