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Moist

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for Natasha

There are only so many tunnels in Pittsburgh 
turbulent enough to tame you. Trestles not included.

But it's the rivers that frighten you. You know
their wetness wants to ravage you, turn your bleached

Russian bob to mean Monongahela curls that tangle
intangible knots around your neck, drag you

to drown in The Triangle's trench. So you avoid
bridges, in a city where 446 bridges are all we know.

You decide on the back roads of Bloomfield that you're willing 
to ride the alleys all the way to 65, straight home to Bellevue,

past the bats that swarm above Alcosan, their sonar thirsty
after six months of sleep and the criminals at Western State 

sitting sedentarily on concrete. You've been penalized
another season. Having suffered through all the summer's
          sun,

you yearn for frozen rivers. You'd rather Mongolia than
          Aliquippa
in the middle of July when humidity's noose comes knocking. 

Hitting the gas pedal, you speed. The stench of hot tar off the
          highway's
pavement is sickening. There are not enough shields to shade

the sun, or your heart, slackened, left in this city with so little
          snow.

-- Laurin B. Wolf

 

Laurin B. Wolf earned an MFA from Kent State University and lives in McKees Rocks. She has a BA from the University of Pittsburgh in poetry writing, and has published poems in Two Review, book reviews in Whiskey Island Magazine, and interviews of poets on the Wick Poetry Center website. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on WYEP 91.3 FM.

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