I PROPOSE TO THE CITY
On one knee, near the main intersection
where we’ve met the best and often.
I don’t have much to offer, but she knows
this. And I know she’s absorbed many
blows these many months, her lovely aura
placed in jeopardy by those threatening
to leave or by those deciding to lie low
until she returns in full, her strawberry hair
flowing over the bridges and the boulevards
again with sass, vigor, time, and beauty,
the kind you believed in when you first
arrived, your old world spilling out of your
suitcase, waiting not a moment to start anew.
I’m down by the canal, rotting planks everywhere
but the chocolate shop there has a reputation
for making the best in the city. In short order
I’ll have my selection and be on my way to meet
my wife who has a “sensational” blouse to show me.
The weather is colder but the sun has been out early,
water reflecting the world down to a tee, robust
as the brushstrokes of a painter lonely and in love.
Oh everything is impossible, but some mysteries
can’t always be solved, no matter how many clues.
I walk up a steep incline, the leafless trees finally
flaunting some buds. Nothing ends even when it does.
SAILING TO SALEM
My wife points over the railing,
out into the blue distance—
“Honey, that might be a whale.”
She thinks Moby Dick. I think
Melville down on his luck and forgotten.
It isn’t a whale and she’s disappointed—