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Incident on Lake Street Bridge

Saint Paul, 9 December 2006

This incident occurred in the spring of 1988

Running across the bridge one night
I startled a man atop a handrail in a diver’s pose
Poised as if waiting for the crack of a gun

I continued on an 8:30 pace
But the clothesless man chased me in rage
Jumped me on the bridge deck in traffic

I reversed him stabbed with adrenalin
Pinned him to the biting pavement
His mouth gaping as if to holler

I fled this still-born tragedy
A passing car paused by the man's listless torso
Mustered him into the back seat

Then the car sped off to...wherever
With no hint of body chalk on the asphalt
The deck has since been re-stripped and paved

Every morning after exercising at the gym
We are bare-skinned in a shower room
Refusing to acknowledge what I know

The promise of life becomes a blotted out relic
And shower after shower neither of us speak
About the incident on Lake Street bridge