Michael Derrick Hudson writing as Yin-Fen Chou: Walking Home from the Redwood Inn  

  and Making Excuses for Still Living in Fort Wayne, Indiana

So here’s to all those pretty waitresses you’d break up over
who don’t really want to be

waitresses. You inchling! I over-tip three soggy dollars
and some silver and you’d think I’d screwed

an archduke’s monocle into my watery left squint, slapped
my thigh with an ivory walking stick

and strode forth in jodhpurs from the foxed
crosshatching and curlicues of an old English copperplate…

Toff! Blabbermouth! I sneeze green into a monogrammed
sky-blue handkerchief and elucidate my sorries over

another all-American soundtrack. Bankrupt infrastructure
crumbles over the bones of Potawatomi, Miami

and Shawnee. For rent. For sale. For rent…

The St. Mary’s River runs yellowy-brown, frothed around
fallen timbers, castoff bricks and the bent

forks from the stripped and partially submerged carcasses

of stolen bicycles. Here muskrats plash their murky hithers
and thithers. A gargantuan carp rolls to the surface

and gulps the mosquitoey air. Almost nothing
bears remembering, but she was born here, so poor old Carole

Lombard’s forever stuck like the rest of us on the damp concrete
span of it, stuck with the hiss-hiss of the cars going

wherever they go crossing the Carole Lombard Memorial Bridge.


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