Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

Detroit: Belle Isle Bridge
Bess Houdini, 1906

For you this river is a birth
submerged in current cold enough
to quell a weaker heart. I may as well
be spirit, haunting the struts, my skin

no deeper than November morning
ice. Who even counts anymore?
Padlocks crusted with coin, chains only
fools will swallow. Duration you show them

is a hasp-sprung sky, your gaffed
pageantry a simple truth, how it stokes
your nerve to flame. Not this river,
but the one we are, whispers

inside me like blood. Want is still
the greater risk, water as thirst, a child
I only dream. The current moves
between our bodies; we are nearing middle-age.

That’s me on the towpath, swaddled in black,
minor witness to another gilded proof. Gulls
shriek their pallor. The wind tastes like snow.
You rise with your hands full of sky.


Diane Unterweger lives in Wisconsin. Her poems have recently appeared in Gingerbread House, Naugatuck River Review, and Blast Furnace.