top of page

Mike Bove

The Million Dollar Bridge

The city does not remember itself

in decades past, poised on the cusp,

and the sailors and fishermen who

used to slip out of bars on Fore Street

find their living elsewhere now,

in care of their children or nurses.

I remember a downtown building

in demolition, empty and open in front.

At night, bright colored lights

fell on two life-sized dinosaurs,

Tyrannosaurus and Stegosaurus,

made of wood, possibly,

and covered with plaster and paint

by some upstart artist who

stuck them there so kids like me

would have something to marvel at

as they came over the bridge, the bridge

we called the Million Dollar Bridge,

though surely it cost more than that.

I can’t tell if my memory of those dinosaurs

is real, and I know I said the city was

on the cusp, but a city is always

on the cusp, like the people

who call it home, endlessly shifting

in time with the dinosaurs

and the kid who loved them, in the car

with his parents coming over

the bridge, past waterfront bars, old

cobbled streets, and quiet fishermen

trapped in nets they crafted by hand.

The Woman Who Rang Our Doorbell

We’ll never know

if her story was true:

her nephew needed

bone marrow

and she was going

door to door

raising money

for a transplant.

My son disappeared

to his room

and came back

with a ten.

I shouldn’t have done that,

he said when she left,

I think she was lying.

He thought himself stupid

until he figured

she wouldn’t have asked

unless she felt

she needed it badly,

for bone marrow or

something else.

Back in his room