Do you live in a cold, cold city?
I slide eyes above this iced-over city
and see steam escaping skyward
while blocks of buildings shiver
on ground so cold the dead must wait
in one last queue
while men who know the way to force a grave
use days and nights to torture soil’s obedience.
Motors push brittle cars in cautious rows,
their wintered steel liable to snap like bones
while real skeletons decide:
to step deliberately amidst the rocks of ice
or shuffle low feet through salt-made sluice.
Great orange plows, surviving mastodons,
break blindly down the routes,
indifferent as their single tusks cast wide and frozen waves
their blue blinks all the warning of invincibility they need.
Geometry of towered cubes and angles
collide with cold and hold it motionless
above the thin veneer that slicks along the frozen earth.
White vapor is the color that breaks this gray sky
and calls itself a careful watcher’s only visual prize.
Much closer, then, a cardinal melts by.
Dave: St. Paul lacks the horrible urban coldness of Minneapolis to my eye. St. Paul defends its inhabitants against the cold; Minneapolis offers them to it.
Neon: You did Mpls time? I did not know this.