The Bridge Near Genoa

I saw the first photographs on Twitter this morning as I sipped my cappuccino at a coffee shop. The broken geometry. A soundless astonishing gap where a great section of the bridge had been near Genoa. The rest of the day would be punctuated by new totals of the dead, and in the days ahead, the totals would rise further, and the grief would settle in, a fog of ache that would take years to thin and never fully dissipate.

Being Regal

You can be regal
In a housecoat
As you cross
A village street
Early on a chilly
Irish morning
To scatter
Some crumbs
For the birds
That visit the
Corner patch
Of green
You watch later
From your window,
Your chair
Close by
The radiator,
Your tea beside you
On the table.

Chinaski’s Résumé

I had come a long way from a guy who had worked in slaughterhouses, who had crossed the country with a railroad track gang, who had worked in a dog biscuit factory, who had slept on park benches, who had worked the nickel and dime jobs in a dozen cities across the nation.

— Charles Bukowski, Post Office 112 (1971) (protagonist Hank Chinaski reciting his work history).