Since Last We Spoke Against a Lakefront Air Current

Christine Holm

A blue bike rests, wheels

to the riverbed, rusting

in silty Milwaukee water

near where the Hoan Bridge

spans, sometimes buckles.

In early thaw, blocks of ice

still frozen to the seat and

handles make for the body

of a harmless horror who pedals

towards harbor not as recreation

but a bright gunshot, the ardent

bullet discharged from a soft throat,

the rifle pointed out a passenger’s

side window rolled down

to let cigarette smoke clear

the truck’s cabin. Eventually

and with frequency sounds

of hot metal through a doe’s torso

become silhouetted in noise

of whiskey sipped against

our lips wintered without ChapStick,

without the milky skyline

of an unmade city — the scaffolding

for Hoan’s repair, small plywood

squares painted into hearts by

schoolchildren, the hearts ticking

across framework of the bridge

reinforced in thirty-foot increments,

the welder working to tighten the harness

around his waist, his eyes prayered

towards his rusty hands,

the shapes of people walking

away, the shapes beneath water-top

of people’s scraps maybe salvageable.

I’m still not sorry.

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