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Nov 142010
 

 

by Anca Vlasopolos

Richard Assessor, in memory


downriver well south of the Ambassador bridge

Great Lakes Steel teeters

on edge like a giant on an acid trip

Vulcan belching fire from heartburn of Love’s treachery


dark yet garish with outlandish paint and garlands

of steelworkers’ wit

PACKAGES HERE ONLY FOR MEMBERS AND GUESTS

OF ZUG ISLAND YACHT CLUB*

it stands like purgatory

translation point

between the red-black hills of ore

and shining saber stuffs poised

on ends of cranes perching over the river

waiting like wading birds

for freighters taking,

leaving,

bearing names

like longings

Hong Kong     Ilyria    Rixie


how could I help but think of you

so much of you consumed in those great fires

so little left and that beyond repair

just like the kilns you built with strong square hands

you the key man for all these meldings of dirtiest earth

to tempered flexing metal so flame-refined

that neither air nor water ever change it


you like the bricks and mortar that you laid

containing for a time a hellish heat

then crumbling in the wake of elegance destined for distant ports

bricks mortar made of homely earth the same whose

hidden veins flow unstoppably

orange-red and true

so true inside you no science knew to stop them


the boat is in my hands—this trusting physician owner

lets me drive it—spray from the arc

of our return blurs my sight


around the sun

a not wholly benignant rainbow

curves



* Zug is an island in the Detroit River heavily polluted by industry.