Two Crossings

As I cross that frangible bridge
[first of two] – relief meets my
gut – I hear my body working

as I cross that second – a rusty
one resurfaced by trailed mud
& in need of paint – there is no

chance of coming face-to-face
with ugliness & hate – Across a
tributary I can escape chances

of seeing a [lie-laden] harpee –
no eye-to-eye – my elusion – to
hills – as I step from her valleys

& like Sisyphus push a boulder
ahead of me [that cruel weight
of recall & an ongoing distaste]

& all I can do is avoid having it
roll back on me – to take me to
those crossings [& that harpee

of local rumours] – to crush me
under heaven-set punishments
of climbing & pushing for truth