The Narrows

George Kovalenko

To find the world unfamiliar takes a span too long under its spell,
and I—a minim hurdling the crossing—did.

Last century saw cofferdams arising from the brine
and from them piles, bearings, beam, but strangest was that from above

the sky was mirroring the shoals. I had the windows down onto the grey.

I had to have, to keep the screen from clouding up and over.
              Sheets of dark, which made the drive underivable, broke
only in their sheeting as a spectrum flaying into unity.

The thesis that the patination
on the bridge’s saddle housing was apportioned by design is flawed.

It is concurrent with the color scheme, to be here able to discern 

the goodness of all things in gradients and only so by squinting.
I don’t know if it is enough to merely make it over 

but my foot is mashed against the floor
              and in a heavy contest with the glow plugs,
              diesel mauls and chars and goes.
Stiffness, cold. Revival and retreat.

                                                       I study cataclysm like I study the corniche:
                                                       slowly, when it surges into being. 


George Kovalenko's poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in CrazyhorseAt Length, and Horsethief. He received his MFA from New York University. He serves as an editor for Poet's Country, teaches writing and literature at SUNY Westchester, and lives in Brooklyn. 

Photo by Bradley Gordon