Some Corners of Water

Lining the streets are trees encased with ice,
first grown from dark pinwheels but now halted
in the freezer of the season. Momentarily.
But heirs with stiffened eyes seize it as concrete
and turn to make some use of the frozen river,

“Not just dammed up, we want it set brick,
like the mud around the construction sites
of the renovated factories, where you could
drive a fleet of trucks across the top of it,
to secure an industrial crane in the air.”

The foreman’s grandmother crashed through in 1938-
breathed small bubbles through the muculent debris-
siphoned oil from the lost eggs of summer’s catfish-
was swept away downstream into the countryside-
and kept alive into the second days of May.

Her sons never made it past the city gates to
believe her, even when they heard her story in
the booming ecstasies of distant thunderstorms.
Quaking on top of the metal frames of their beds
they busily braided suspension cables for stoplights.

The runt of the litter became a janitor and late
at night, up in the top floor office, he listens
to ghosts in girders, watches mathematical lattices
of skyways, snowflakes, envisions another season
unfurling in the spacious fronds of mysterious ferns.

Bolted above a steaming sewer grate on 2nd and Main
stands a statute of the father, bloodless and crusted
within a dehydrated age. When snow makes a fedora,
ice as the starry buttons from a tailor, and then melts,
his bronze amalgamates into the pitch of her moisture.

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