Detroit, Love, Mine
Rereading Kafka’s letters to Felice
in a bookstore of this city far
from home as clouds in a low sky
out the window decide to be light or dark,
I follow his pushing, pulling, for
and against her, until he’s paralyzed and it ends.
My love for Mary starts to seep
from my bones, down their grainy
hard surfaces, drips through cracks,
from outcroppings, into caves
black with no source of inner light
until it pools and, glistening, catches me
The earth was made beautiful
Now November drags red purples,
orange yellows out of branches
over flat Michigan.
They’re working hard
to be radiant beside the airport as I land,
to send their message from the earth
to the sky.
It’s written into the blacktop to expose
these colors by total contrast
between its paved darkness and the tactile
eruption of landscape,
between my destination and me,
still free from the ground.
Soon, I’ll be among the runways, then
will leave them for long avenues that ease
my way to sprawl.
By Jefferson’s broken pavement,
bald lots and towers of dark glass,
tankers crowd the river as if it were a highway.
In the River Bar, a dark-haired, dark-eyed girl
who works nights is beautiful.
Has anyone told her?
Does anyone know?
Beauty is bred by a leisure
you do not have.