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
and she was going
door to door
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
Back in his room