Mud Character

Multistory projections crowd her
view of the river before bottom
dwellers came to divide

it into chapters—a beginning,
middle, end, begin again
in layers over the only naturally occurring

falls. A narrative—perpetual
and more powerful than a light
show or bank swoons—

won’t stick. Who needs
a plot so thick.

Everything Else Is Frozen Sonnet

On the Third Avenue Bridge
over the only spot
where river flow can still be
seen, I let go

of the last trace
of your voice—recording
of how I don’t want
to remember you

erased. What’s left
are those moments
I could see you
still moving. Those falls

rush on a relentless
industrial music.

Farewell Aughts

What began east
of the Mississippi
(a mile or two) ends
west of it (a mile
or two). The living 

between has crossed
bridges, barely
without jumping, has crossed 

a god (or two). Frozen
but for the falls,
it doesn’t care
where I reside, what
I do when I’m in
overlook position. Whenever 

they gather 8 floors up
by the riverside glass
façade, you know 

the news isn’t good. Nothing’s
locking through this time
of year. Someone has locked down
temptation once
and for all again. Me, 

I’m off that pedway—believing
in movement because
of the falls and everything they touch.

Adaptive Reuser

Positioned on a bald hilltop, this old
building calls itself
precious. Everyone she knows 

is too afraid
to touch it. She’s positioned
aloft, precious 

over the river—everyone is too afraid 

to touch her. Water moves
only over falls. Winter has slammed
against all she sees 

below. When healing does push thaw
forward, she will not be afraid 

to put her whole hand in muddy water
to wash away the strange
curse crushed inside stone facades.

What Wants to Be Found

Not marble, shale, leftover concrete, pieces of a letter
her grandmother wrote the summer before she died. 

An article on the history of Saint Anthony Falls, milling along
the mighty river, grain refined into flour, torn photos revealing explosions 

about to happen between two people unraveling
their love. A chapter from a science textbook on estuaries, 

salt granules strewn across a diner booth table. A slice of ruby 

nagahyde laying on the pavement beside an oversized dumpster,
the blood stain spreading across fertile ground. She places everything side by side, 

doesn’t use a blender. Her thinking is as collaged as a map
of her love life before the end of the cold war—overlaps 

exposed, tale ends hidden, holes carved into the ice, she might go diving
into the river before it thaws all the way through. The need 

to be found has become so acute.

Mississippi River Dirge

Mixed bouquets from a private garden sold
at a farmer’s market stall
Thursdays on the mall—one secured 

with elastic and string
to the bridge’s southeast rail
and a note. I can’t make 

out any words
save you and peace. His name still
withheld. It’s not 

the impact 

on water through air once
met metal 

ledge, but the force
of those falls against
sad flesh crushing bone.