Across the Water – Detroit Memories

It was a fearful river deep into which
I would place my toe at three. Invisible
grandfathered tiled tunnels and grandmothered first-across bridges
threaded me to that place. It burned when I was four
and Renaissanced when I was twelve. At fifteen I ripped
a designer dress there and never told the clerk. We whispered
our sins to our friends. We were atop the city, and it fit!
Cops grabbed our car keys at nineteen but never found the beer. 

Detroit tells no lies. A compliment

in alien gray smelling of a sort
of cigarette I’m unable to figure. Woodward
halved the city and 8 Mile cut the city
and the highways finished
the mincing on a chopping board
of maps and people. It wasn’t cutting
those sounds of Motown I heard, but that of hookers
in baby blue sweaters and lax slippers out
for a stroll in the vacant parking lot
while jackbooted buckled skinhead punks pointed
and said the hookers were peculiar. Then watched
the bands, 10 for a buck, and went home
back under the dipped water on a bus, in my grandfather’s
tunnel, last one after last call.

Photo by Creative Hina By.Quileen on Unsplash.

Vicky MacDonald Harris

In print, Vicky MacDonald Harris’ poems reside in the NaPoChapBook collection published by Big Game Books, and The Lincoln Underground. Her poem, “Disaster Capitalism,” was published in The Flat Water Stirs: An Anthology of Emerging Nebraska Poets in 2017. 
Online her poems can be found at Tiny Poems, Two Cities Review, Poets and Artists, Hobble Creek Review, the24project, The Prairie Sage, and in Women Poets Wearing Sweatpants Tumblr.
Recent work in Fiery Scribe Review, Janus Literary, Strange Horizons, and Ellipsis Zine. Find her on Twitter and her Website.