at the river’s side

a rumbling screech in the background troubles
the stillness in its flow.  stalwart reeds stand their
ground in the eddies; beer cans
litter the pools.  rock breathes its heat
up through my skin, siphoning off pain dammed
for decades and centuries: graffitied faces and
iron piercings, a railroad’s refuse. i pour my salt
water soul back into her drop by sad sticky drop,
the miracle of rushing waters salving both our
senses, smoothing our edges while a
midday heat hunkers down, sodden
steaming blanket with an odor of regret.