Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Cache Creek Bridge at Flood Stage

Upstream, the creek has already crested
over berms, threshed walnut groves,
flung oaks against the bridge, torn

off limbs and crushed them to brush.
Last night, the psychic I dialed up
began by saying, A man here

newly passed overasks you to believe
there is nothing more you could have done
Now the emergency vehicles patrolling

the levee for breaks
restart their loop. The rain too,
falls again over the evacuated farmhouses,

empty pastures, into the stream’s
milk-brown seethe. I’m done
second-guessing what comes next,

whether an oracle or charlatan ferried
something of you to me
over waves, if there is a god

waiting anywhere for anyone.
Done trying to see the portent
in a blue-capped medicine bottle

floating by, sandbags sinking
underwater, or which red circuitry of roads
will lead me out,

beyond this river with its vicious ardor.
Its bursting forth.
You were the best friend I ever had.

Near dark on the bridge,
I turn my flashlight on.
I don’t know what else to do but witness.  

Published in Ordinary Psalms (LSU Press, March 2021).

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