By this river

By this river

My river starts as a creek that idles like a train loading up kids at a park
then slides underground, quickening beneath the destroyed black neighborhood

beneath the cheap hotel and its parking lot that was supposed to be a mall
and on downhill past City Hall where it bursts into the open thirty feet below

the police station parking garage then sidles back under the concrete
and into the dark again beneath a parking lot called The Wharf though

it hid the only waterway in the valley so sometimes when I want
to touch the current of my life I feel a parking space stripe that

hand-wide line white or yellow painted over and over for years
until it’s a physical presence not just a visual guide the layers

of paint countable like tree rings when what I want is the rush
and gurgle of what’s just below our pedestrian lives

2 thoughts on “By this river

  1. qbit

    That’s terrific. “when I want / to touch the current of my life I feel a parking space stripe” and “paint countable like tree rings” — amazing.

    Reply

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