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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

To Wilmington Swing Bridge

House on the swing bridge, house in the air,
standing aside for the barge from upriver,
let my dragging anchors not snag
on your cables while I confer
with my first mate, athwartships,
pondering our heading and draft.
The forecast promises shopping trolleys,
my lightermen poke at the muddy soup,
but I swim to the burger van and regain
my ship’s cat’s perch from terra non firma,
the forty-five degree angle of your
compliance to my chuntering purpose.
The dry bulk in the yards we pass
will be reduced to nothingness
and utility; my cargo exists
only in the subjunctive yet not one
grain shall be lost. A lost swan
incubates a nest of golf balls
and a stray hand replaces the flowers
in the bridge house window: red flowers.
House on a bridge, I hear the gears scream,
I feel each tooth of the terrible works
connect and, greased up, haul you back
to the fixity of empty air.

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