January: Chicago River

Far-off, the snowy undulations
of Lake Michigan waves,
frozen in mid-flux,
make up the horizon,
the source, the end,
the hardened alpha and omega
pool that lends its cool gaze
over the interrupted run
of the ever-green river,
dyed or undyed.

December's river is
ice, thickening,
expanding to fill the space,
pushing outward against its banks
and pressurizing, resisting,
deep chilling and shallow thawing,
swelling beyond the cracking point:


January's river is
Shards and icebergs
and miniature islands
of sharp-edged and impenetrable
icy bulk,
elbowing, jostling, boxing out one another
for position in the slow and swirling water;

All cracked and distant,
Yet part of the same flow.

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