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††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††MONICA BERLIN & BETH MARZONI

 

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TO REACH THE RIVER WE CROSS AND KEEP CROSSING SOMETIMES

 

 

no matter. Thereís a boy who once called this place Cloud

City, & we let him. The sky never has failed us. Not even today,
though re-enactors pin their tents to it, punch it full of gun-smoke.

Day like lead. We sort sad out, shrinking down tired
histories we canít stop until the hour bends, So, gives

enough to reassure that summer is just another way
to say Thereíll be other mornings. We canít even imagine

the clouds of cities beyond our sight line. But in the rearview,
that canopied narrowing, the old maps prove

what weíve known all along: that we only sort of live
in the places where we liveóat the river bottom,

in its memory & at the risk of Fort Adamís Reach,
Old River Lake, Old River, False River, Neck Cut-Off, Willow

Cut-Off. What does it matter calling up those no-more,
those never-been? Sky & river that boy already knew;

any city is more cloud than concrete. No name keeps
it, shape turning a sort of corridor, tunnel, passing

through & passed & always the past. Land-locked means
we drink fossil water & what we mean is at the bottom.

 

 

 

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TYPO 17