No Scaffold

A man on stilts
is busy doing his best
to convince passersby
to rethink the glass

wall. I walk
by a sign for free
smells—wonder how

many grams of fat
per sniff. I’m going to stand
taller when I inhale
that deeply.


Two lipsticks total
euphoric recall
beyond what this purse
can hold. To be high

above the trees
on a balcony
railed with red
metal is the opening

scene, is the last
time she almost fell
into a black

out. Period. Under
any conditions
there will be
red lips.

Lemon in Her Water

A reminder to taste
life. A gritty pressure
she climbs the old freight

house stairs—fair trade
and organic maybe, these coffee beans
he roasts are not grown locally

in some Minnesota backyard. A transplant,
she will never be as sustainable

as those local boys
she’s chased into bars, ditches,
haystacks, church

basements, the mouth
of the Mississippi. She’s a trickle
trying to cut a figure

worth restoring. Lime
was her father’s choice.