I can’t sleep on this new medication,
so I go down to the dirty river’s edge
near my apartment, before the traffic
makes me too fearful to be on foot.
The air shines as the morning light
reflects on particles I probably shouldn’t
be breathing. There’s trash, a Starbucks
cup no snail would claim, moss on
the gravel that reminds of the rind on hot
chocolate, but green. Bugs dance over
the water, spelling out a calligraphy in
the air. Dragonflies hover, feeding, just
like they did back home when Dad would
take me out on the Lake to feed the fish,
early mornings while he was still sober.
I would skip a stone, if I remembered how,
but I don’t want to disturb the bugs,
the water, the quiet before the morning
is subsumed. So I stand, just back from
the mud. Past the far shore, up on the road,
cars pass quietly every few minutes. Under
the bridge, off to the left, homeless people
are rousing to find a place to clean
themselves and get to work. One of them
watches as I watch the water.
Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of thirty books, including his newest poetry collection, The Bottle Episode, and his latest novel The Saviors. Bledsoe co-writes the humor blog How to Even, with Michael Gushue. Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.