i use the word ‘betrayed’

7:30 wakeup curtain-lift
pink swaths spill/spreading
across sky while rectangle of window
(east-facing) across street
throws back orange-red light

first breakfast:
brilliant-flash-of-orange-gold that is
a tangerine and
creamy honeyish chai tea
snow-draped mt. st. helens
revealing itself on horizon
at the tail end of this morning’s run
while trainsounds rise from tracks
(how the forgetting to remember
to look for it there means its appearance
strikes with extra force)
the white crow
that shiz pointed out a few days ago
hangs out in this neighborhood she said
swooping from telephone wire to

placing the bag of
gina-made chocolate chip cookies
on top of refrigerator
in the out-of-sight-out-of-mind spirit
bus memory-tour details
route #4:

borthwick on green street sign –
shiz and i riding bikes
side by side our laughter
filling small street
i’m talking about how the word
borthwick sounds like puking
and i repeat it again BORTHwick

the hospital i hustled over on my bike to
after corinne got doored and then
upon arriving at said hospital, realizing
it was the wrong hospital
(un)luckily, the wait was so long
she was still there when i finally did arrive
with kids books and lunch food in my backpack

metal pull-down fire escape stairs
that tuesday and i once
started climbing in the covertness of night
but once we set off the alarm
we slid back down and ran
betrayed is the word i use
for the fancy people on their
fancy phones in the fancy light
of the fancy downtown bus stops
none of which looks anything like
the portland i knew
(as if someone struck the set
as soon as i left
and built a new one
in my absence)

i thank any shred of familiar
while we street-wind
i thank the blanket-layered sidewalk-sleeping men
near 8th and caruthers
and their piles/bags/carts
(while also wishing warmth and safety)
i thank the green neon and
the red of the lamp posts
in chinatown
i thank bike rush hour
pedaling swiftly
across the hawthorn bridge
i thank the glint of
the willamette under
the aloftness of a metal bridge
i thank the maze of ladd’s addition and
the tangle of streets at the rose quarter transit center
i thank the moss
thriving at the edges of every sidewalk
i thank the d.i.y. front-yard weedy raised beds
and the chard leaves
sprouting out of them
i thank the bike lanes (that my wheels spent 9 years
carving grooves into)
that have transported my love and my rage
and i thank the muscle memory of bike riding
still intact
that knows the potholes and bumps/dips
despite the absence of street lights
rendering them visible
i thank the insistent sound
of the train whistle
that cuts the city in half
north/south, just like the river

but that also hems the city in
running perpendicular
to the waters
i thank the mountains that
still rise and sometimes glow pink
with setting sun
in the distance
i thank the lightbulb store
on mississippi and failing
and the falcon apartments sign
on a building further down the road


i’m a surgeon i joke
glue-sticking the heart pieces
together in a room filled with
ripping, snipping and gluing
pumpkin brew and i laugh
about the 5+ year-old joke
that never gets old