Minneapolis Past Midnight

Photo: © S.V. Bertrand. All rights reserved.

The voices of indistinct celebrants
echo off canyons of concrete, limestone,
glass, the tin hats of streetlights, the hubcaps

of SUVs parked and in motion, even
the parade of soft bodies surging like salmon
through this municipality’s virtual rivers

of tainted oxygen, body wash, hair gel,
eddies of vomit. They sound exultant,
intoxicated, preternaturally young and immune

to tomorrow, fixated, dilated, ready to penetrate
and swallow one another, innocent and
ancient, pure and defiled as the last

sliver of French-milled hotel soap
resting on a ceramic altar
longing to be finished with its sacrifice

in service of elusive cleanliness.
Morning might find some participants
murmuring over coffee at the diner on Nicollet,

dissipated and diminished as flames
once the warehouse of the night’s potential
is reduced to a charred steel skeleton—

memories, indistinct as watercolors
composed in rain, unappetizing
as lukewarm eggs swimming in sriracha,

slamming doors at their temples. The city’s
dutiful custodians will soon rev up
circus animal-sized machinery to clear

amusement’s detritus, while
the shower offers itself like a baptismal
to wash away insomnia’s bittersweet unguent.

Peter Kent has published poems in Cimarron Review, New Millennium Writings, The Opiate, Subprimal Poetry Art and other journals. His work has also received a high commendation in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition. He works as a caretaker for a backcountry hiking and skiing lodge in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Appears In

Issue 6

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