Bridge, cut from sandstone
standing hard in the distance,
below thick electrical wires
& quick ascending planes,
where guts of our city’s downtown,
with its sharp-edged contrast
at one end, lie exposed,
under smoking black chimneys
four as die, & pink light skies
falling slowly to a cool dusk
in shadows of pillars, of rocks,
of trees, & of bridges north,
where people had ran, walked,
& captured photos, talking,
had so frequently happened.
The deep vein of a country
swept brown & debris below,
where near a dam you await.
Your heavy arch did not bend,
your dusty blocks did not crumble,
your purpose outlived its creator,
& still you met the citizens first,
on each side to let them pass.
Without question birds flew to you,
clouds dotted heavens & your flank,
& sounds bounced off of your make
from other ancient past-lives.
The Stone Arch stood fixed,
even in the pitchest darkness,
or when the layered homeless sat,
in faded orange lamplight glow,
or the late street walker came
on a hot summer evening drunk.
Up late to watch the metro night,
to make sure people made it back
over a fast Mississippi, so wide.
Bridge, cut from sandstone
The only change they want
is the change they make,
even if it’s the same.
St. Anthony Main was taken
on a summer’s dusk
through an old camera lens,
near the Mississippi and giant cotton woods,
people in dress—exposed flesh,
on bike, on foot,
on patios seeming elegant.
The redbrick streets
below told them
to stay out and go;
worn down, and by ice cracked,
each square watched,
unable to properly stress:
for winter would come to take it all away,
their warmth in breath,
hot sun, breezy outside comfort
and laisse faire sentiment—
what they had missed at that time
would turn cold-fast to regret.
O’ the summer is spent.
O’ take what we can get.
Where the metro rain comes from I do not know.
Maybe it comes from the Gulf of Mexico,
or across outer space deep, or maybe from the hard ground
under my feet. I really do not know where it comes from.
I know I am a percentage of it, but I also know that
I am so bad at math, trying to figure it, with exact percentage,
with an exact equation, would make me sweat good—
lose the water I am made of: essentially I would lose that part
of me, my hydration. I figure it sometimes comes from the sky
because it lands on my head while getting my shoulders wet,
and I can see it falling fast… So, from observation this is true.
I am not partial to its occurrence; sometimes it is to my chagrin,
sometimes it is to my disliking. If the sun were out I would watch it
slip along the rocky mud banks of a spinning Mississippi,
perhaps with a Nalgene bottle full—at a pavilion of wood,
its different forms; my hands would be pulling worms into the air
from a Styrofoam vessel, to pull fish from its filling flow;
we are all full of water, some of us are also full of shit.
Rain let’s shine life, as we sought a tap to fill clean glasses,
polished by it in other ways—endless purpose what it were.
Where the metro rain comes from I do not know,
but sitting inside, for hours on a dry cat-teased couch,
I watched it come down and present itself alive today.
It never really mattered where it came from, it was right here.
Nowadays water balloons and squirt guns
are considered dangerous weapons.
Oddities which can get you tackled to the ground, cuffed,
and thrown into the back of a police cruiser.
It’s kind of funny.
I remember being younger, maybe 8 or so,
and having all-out wars with other kids
at Wildcat Landing near Brownsville, MN.
No one won, there were no casualties.
We would be throwing water balloons
and squirting each other with Super Soakers,
these dangerous weapons.
Their biggest offense was they wasted water.
To get it in the eye would sometimes start tears,
someone would inevitably run to Ma.
The midday sun was usually high,
the smell of sand and the chopping Mississippi
would be in the unbroken air.
Adults drank domestic beers and listened to classic rock.
We were just kids back then, with colorful toys.
Later on as a child, I remember my dad once shot his rifle
in the sky above a plainclothes officer
in our driveway at 1045 Bush Valley Rd.
The agent told us to get all of our guns/weapons.
I went inside and found my squirt guns
and brought them out.
The officer said with surprise, “Not those, son.”
He didn’t take my guns,
back then they were harmless.
He let me go, slap on the wrist.
Nowadays you can get arrested for that kind of stuff.
The shit we got away with,
man we were bad.
The backyard squirrel foraged
Rolling through a thick grass,
Rubbing its underside on dirt,
Thin belly in a thin brown fur,
Moving thru sniffing, bobbing.
The cat watched from the sill,
On a makeshift dresser drawer,
Eyes darted at every twitch made,
At every moment of food found.
The two were close, intermingled,
Not viewing each other though,
Just seeing themselves different,
Obscured by a dripping window,
Staring at what could’ve been.
I would walk Central Avenue in soft
evening light, or go through Father
Hennepin Park around the same time.
A group of people to gather and become
pedestrians again on The Stone Arch’s
sandy beige bricks. To be seen smarted
by simple standing architecture, art,
and all of its cracked parts—the park too,
its sentiment with skyline shapes inset
in the distance, contrasted, outlined
in values: greys, whites, blues, golds,
and blacks. Shades reigning, measured
to a straight line and immensely looming,
cast down at those eyeing below. People
sit in fast passing cars, as those on
foot step. Thoughts to traverse, within
and without. It was another day to walk,
to watch, to wait, and to go, to move,
or to stay, on this dusk path through
downtown Minneapolis and straight back.