22 Hours

For you,

I will sit on the cinder blocks of the bygone industrial

rather than balance on a metal beam because

although I could make it to the concrete platform (easy)

I’ve gotta be in Houston tomorrow night and

I don’t want you to have to miss me after two months

of waiting to see me.


I don’t want to miss you,

while bandaged and tetanus needled after falling




seven feet into glass bottles with rank drops of alcohol,

in blackberry bushes all thorns no berries, and a spent pillow stained

with brown from drool and invisible semen, then tumble


down the embankment

into the grave(l) of the Willamette’s beach.


Because I am in Portland and tomorrow night

I want to be in your arms in College Station

I will refrain.

I won’t balance across the beam, placing my purple-striped

purple shoes with dazzling white laces gingerly

just to heave myself up onto concrete and avoid the butts of

metal stakes.


All to just stand tall and breathe in the gray sky, gray almost-blue-green river,

and this city.




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