Another Boat in a Fog May Not Be Lonely

The corner where two
windows meet. The view
from a dark room
onto a fog-dampened
night. Stories

dissolve when they hit
pavement, or never get exposed
to atmosphere at all. It stings
to be so poised
to burst forth

in a voice soft
and deep, but to be
the one holding back
exquisite blackness
with a candle flame

that laps up
fear and air
till someone’s lover

returns. A woman’s true
laughter will float on
still water

to break through
soot and other romantic
toxins falling out.

H2O: Same as Water

Questions about
the history of ice hover

in the coffee
bar air. Little plastic
green army

men are strewn
across a mezzanine
floor. The child
whom they belong to

hums in a corner.
All I can think is
someone will slip

and fall on ice
or war.

Personal Hydraulics

She drinks more
water to open

her mind. This ache
in her shin won’t inform

a drought. Walk up
another hill before the next

rain storm floods these leftover
rivulets. She whispers. A reminder

to self could be just the explosion
her neighbors need to see

the truth about sound
beneath a quarter moon.

(Day 3,014)

Beware ice beneath
the door mat. She
may knock you

down with newly retrieved
self-confidence. When it’s this cold,
the surreal slips inside

cracks in doors, walls,
boots, skin. Water is
life or death—depends

on perspective. More
life, she thinks, when she keeps
her balance across thresholds.

Waterfalls Are Made (or, Olafur Eliasson’s “New York City Waterfalls”)

As I admire water
falls as art, I lose
my anxious desire
for a chance 

encounter with you. I never forgot you. Mainly scaffolding,
pumps, and piping, physics of the tangible
after inebriation splashes
into the river 

of our souls. I know you
had one. Did you know
too? The East River is not really a river—
it’s a strait. Did we really converge 

in a place where fresh and salt meet?
Did we meet at all? Lost in the mist
of my quiet life, I would not hear,
or see you, if you did approach behind me 

till that empty basin
of a voice was spilling sound
through the air I breathe. 

What do you think of this? 

I would try to ignore what I think
I recognize because a quiet life requires
uninterrupted mesh
with holes to protect whatever might swim 

into the loner’s intake filter pool.  Fish might not penetrate
the fabric, but I can’t resist—I turn. There 

you would be well
into midlife, like me. It wasn’t you,
it was the City I left
to catch my breath for 18 years. 

Woman, is that you? Man, is that you? 

Where we once moved in the dark
toward young urgency striking off
the planes of our bodies, we would now stand still,
stone pillars. The Brooklyn Bridge has sprung a leak, the world 

is turning in
on itself. Wind trumps water, but not gravity. Water sways on its fall
below concrete and steel and wood. And still it’s the water
I bet my life on.