This is no Big Sur, Dingle
Peninsula, Wasque—
this is somewhere

in the middle. A river
that has starred
as the main character

in novels, caused cities to be
built, become a final stop
for the tormented

and despairing. It is a river
that should be frozen
by now. That only its fringes

cutting against its banks
are covered in a thin sheet
of ice is another story

that needs to be
told. And I’m no narrator
for the fresh or salt.

Fabled Current

I make these cutouts and teardowns
with my own hands. Rivers and rape
have no relationship

to me. I come for the winding
water story. The other is a dry,
desperate crack in a vase. The wrong kind of deliberate,

it exposes danger. Someone could attempt to play
god. It’s the sand martin I hope to hear
as it emerges from its tunnel. It’s the abundance

spilling through my fingers
I plan to offer. Who’s going to laugh at that?

Burn Bridges (Day 2,444)

I can see the plume above your head
billows as if you were a mayor
in flammable hair. The river won’t ignite
this time. You’re on your own 

with your torch tonguing
its way between stays to the old
wood. What a mouth
you’ve got on you. Mine

pressing against it
won’t save the world, won’t
prevent collapse. Kisses
rarely dampen anything. I’d like
my torch back.