Odds Are

A city club awning becomes
the abominable snowman’s mouth
full of icicle dagger teeth. I don’t want to

wake the beast. I walk uncovered,
keep a safe distance
from the fringe. Let snow fall
on my head instead. I don’t believe in

monsters but know my beliefs
have nothing to do with it—winter
risks, or getting struck by lightning come spring.

Stranded Snapshot

Is this rain, or sleet, or miniature
hail—this life becomes
a wintry mix. No plot, no narrative, this is

continuous till
it ends. But it doesn’t stop

there. She slips on a Howard Ben Tré
sidewalk glass
eye and falls. Waiting

for a bruise to form
on her upper right

thigh, she seeks
comfort in the purchase
of a sky

blue button-down shirt.
On her way home, she walks slowly

around the offending
eye. Accumulation answers
the question no one really asked.

June 12th

Yesterday was another
one. Twenty-one
years—but why keep

a tally? Yesterday
I heard his signature
song come tumbling out

of that Irish pub
on the mall. Part of that romance
on public transportation

series. The only kind I could know
other than this pedestrian love.
Really that’s all there is

for me not quite
half a lifetime later—so many
of the original players long gone.

9th and Nicollet

All chairs face the window
onto the street when it rains. For a split

second, I forget why
I’m worried. It makes me anxious—

this forgetting. Then I remember: that death
thing. The when, where, and why

of it. No, that’s not it.
Can I walk the mile home without ruining

all that I’ve tried to iron
flat? Will I be able to pull that umbrella

from my pack in time? Will the laundry room
be empty tonight? What a relief.

There She Is

Not ready for the flash
mob to erase her
memory of him. Or
his name. She confesses

to her Connecticut days
and nights. No one
will recognize her
in this white tee, black

hoody, blue jeans, white
sneakers. She could—and
she will—take
another route home.

Black Friday on the Mall

In defiance, I will walk
directly into the fray.
Will use red ink
to sign my name. I’ll slip
through lines like ether.
Window shop down
every block. Pray for it
to rain tonight
on that damn parade.

We Have Sidewalks in the Sky

I won’t be the one
who left her purple
gloves on the counter, who cut off

the blind man in limbo

between buildings. Will be
the one looking
for a way around

Holidazzle Parade crowds. I will
return to street level
next time I see

my way home before dark.