Passing through Detroit On the Way to Ontario

We are surrounded by grey
steel rising from auto plants smoke
bleeding with the clouds like two
sides of a breath and concrete
everywhere concrete like a
courtesan my god no love
could penetrate this mill making
its living without concern for any
lives we are all strangers

we trail eighteen-wheelers
through the NO RE-ENTRY
TO USA toll as though we
want to go back to that caged
metro park with its traffic
cones dive bars striped
bikinis shooting from
stars high on neon
diamonds like comets and mildewed
bathrooms we don’t see

there are real pines a mock
monarchy money with a plastic
strip through the middle and a crane
laying u-beams like tinker toys
in this sandpit where a nation
waits to bloom a nation
who does not care if I stay or
if I go back to the land I was
made in back to my kaleidoscope
garden like a doll or a plastic top


The Morning Ferry to Quebec City

It is a different kingdom
in the white light of the new day:
the distant brick blooming red,
the proud river searching
with renewed hope
for a companion
or some kinder purpose,
the city rising from its steep
jade throne to greet us
as we arrive in our chariot,
come to fill this clean old world
with our song.


Morning in a New City

You are the same age,
height, weight and intelligence,
you are lying on a bed
in a room with a window
and four walls,
and when you first see the light
filming through the blinds,
you feel comfortable:
you are home.

Then, when you look
in the bedside mirror, you notice
your eyes are a little wider
in the yawning sun,
your face a different shape
from this new slant.
You are not sure whether
this is who you are, now,
or whether this new mirror
distorts the truth.
You can’t remember
what you looked like
last week, or the night before.

But when you get out of bed,
first one foot, then the other,
you and the mirror girl
are one and the same,
although she lives here
and you do not.

There is no one else
for you to be.


Alexandra Walsh

Alexandra Walsh

Alex Walsh studies Mathematics and Literary Arts at Brown University. Her work has previously appeared in War, Literature & the Arts; The Round; The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics; and Catalyst, among others.