"Corporate Abstraction"

A Poem by Ange Mlinko


We continue our celebration of National Poetry Month, and Coffee House Press, with a poem from Ange Mlinko's just published collection, Shoulder Season.



Corporate Abstraction


In the weeks after the catastrophe

I reported to work only to brood at my cubicle

and feel the trembling of the river

like a Rubicon.


From a yellow window

in a Class-C building I couldn't tell

a battered slip of paper in a downdraft

from a gull.


Downwind, the Battery.

Coming up the west side from the park

I felt the trembling of two rivers

the moment they fork.


To walk to the smoking pit on my lunch hour

to see through the fence

and stand there on tiptoe

to match the suspense


of the iconic sculpture on the square

which the rube

in me thought stupid, balanced on its

corner. "Red Cube."



From Shoulder Season by Ange Mlinko. Copyright © 2010 by Ange Mlinko.

Published by Coffee House Press: www.coffeehousepress.org.

Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.





July 24: On this day in 1725 John Newton, the slave trader-preacher who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace," was born.

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