The 2River View

Belline Chao

Night cuts these streets into lines

Night cuts these streets into lines of stunted trees
and orange lights. All I see now are the dark rows

of parked cars, the steady rivers of headlights,
the cables that string up slanted telephone posts,

and bus routes — those imaginary lines that loop.
When I can no longer count the pitchers I've split

with men and all I want is a way back
in time — before this reckless drinking

seemed like a bright idea — there is a line
that appears, that floats off these gum-speckled

streets as if suspended by the stout blue legs
of mailboxes and dented trashcan covers.

A line tied onto traffic signals, stop signs
and other cautionary signs. A line I’ve come to

ignore. A sort of path that dogs sniff.
That catches moths who refuse to die.

As I stumble on alone and half asleep,
it rises from these orderly blocks of concrete

to pull me home the way you've pulled me
through years of forgetting and distance.

When I've reached the quiet of unlit rooms,
those fluttering moths, no more substantial

than moonbeams, cast white pulses
onto these walls of dreamless sleep.

Belline Chao will soon be featured in an anthology celebrating the work of Weldon Kees. Her poems now appear in Askew, Connotation Press, Mosaic, and The Packinghouse Review. She is currently pursuing an MFA at the University of North Carolina — Wilmington. contact