Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

She Pivots Away

by Charles Thielman
 

She sees vaccines and illusions
riding downtown curbs,
city night balanced
 
along the edge of a duotone slant,
moon pulling shadows across current,
spotlights revolving below a dome
 
capped with silvered contrails. Loss
tattooed on the wing of a dream
let to fly. She walks beside a river wall
to the peace garden, haiku in stone
rooted in nuclear war.
 
A tug boat plies upriver, lone deckhand
near the bow, incurable eyes sweeping
a rectangle of sky as trucks throttle
down bridge slopes.
 
Bridge legs collecting shadows
as she traces carved letters a mile
beyond the work-week’s spinal taps.
 
Tough to be solo amid these weekend couples.
Flaring colors across fresh canvas after
a wreck in the same town is hard work,
the promises given in that dream
echo inside memory.
 
She pivots away from laughter,
dank cloth of hot summer on her arms
and legs, gaze snagged
on an initialed bench.