The 2River View 17.4 (Summer 2013)

Steven Winn

The Beat

You feel it first, the
that thuds from nowhere up
and detonates
            a panic
so complete it takes another
or three to register
the car that’s slid up
beside you, window cocked,
Gucci Mane throbbing from
            in there
through air and pavement, floorboard
            into you,
where panic flips to fury
in a beat
            a beat
            a beat
he marks, head dipped and
turned away, thumb tapping,
lightly tapping on the wheel.
And now how easily
it takes you in,
the insult of it vanished
in this intervention
of someone else’s pleasure,
the blunt, concussive
of it,
the way it wraps him up
in it,
            the beat
repeating and repeating
in the space between.
And then the light turns green.

Watching the Water

all that
way makes the
mind resist its
plunging certainties
as the eye
flies up
through foam-
ing perturbation
to find a
silver strand
slung loose
in limber
and then
another and
another after that
each one a
wish to end
in mist

Steven Winn is a San Francisco writer whose poems have appeared in Able Muse, Antioch Review, Cimarron Review, Florida Review, Poetry East, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. contact