Lynn Finger

Even though it’s still light, the moon rises like a shiny  

hubcap over the mirrored office towers. We sit along  

the Riverwalk, at a table on the patio, talk about the extinct  

Ibex. We decide it’s good to feel alive when we review  

the lives of the gone. The dusk’s soft edges sift the windows  

of the buildings into glistening squares. Pedestrians  

with small piebald dogs on leashes float by. We inhabit  

the night like it’s an old sweatshirt. Butterflies gather wings  

and tuck into the ferns in the nearby flower boxes to doze.  

The ibex: a mountain goat with horns like giant half 

wheels curled back, springs from our mouths, clatters  

down the sidewalk. Early attempts to stave off that  

extinction failed, they never could copy the original,  

and don’t know why. But setbacks can bring intention,  

figuring—what next? Each moment we bask in the high rises,  

the poured concrete enclosures that guide the river, 

the steel reinforced buildings that guide our roads, and  

the aggregate and sand sidewalk that directs our steps, 

will this all just pass and deflate, even as we enjoy 

this budding night? We decide it’s too much to try  

to settle right now, and we pause with our beverages  

before calling it a night. The light from the streetlamps  

glows as tourists in blue jeans walk by. Along the river,  

the one lost crane flaps its wings, and shouts along the strand— 

fills the whole concourse with its far-reaching screams.

Paean to city walking 

Lynn Finger

My life in the city is spent waiting on corners for the light  

to change, part of the function of a pedestrian. I put off  

driving, it is hard to face the freeway, its skittish blinkers  

and pelting cars. I walk to work, and then to lunch,  

experience a surrounding slow-motion bubble of air  

and gritty noise, as the cars sweep by to affirm that they  

indeed are going somewhere. The number of cars that pass  

me is more than cells in my skin, and I can sometimes see  

the delicate creature inside the chassis that spins across  

the roads. The times I am able to meet the drivers’ eyes  

as they fly past, isn’t always zero, and I observe them  

brushing their teeth at the wheel, or crying on the dashboard,  

also memories of a bearded man with his head out the door  

to see more clearly around his windshield, going sixty! I keep  

walking, past the bread gallery, and jewelry outlet. A wagging  

terrier greets me, and music from windows, Beethoven,  

Brazilian, searing. After how many steps I take past  

the park’s towering oaks, the city’s parking meters, and  

the street’s green and red awnings, I finally stop at  

the smallest café on the block, for one of their five  

sandwiches. Today, egg salad. 

Lynn Finger’s (she/her/hers) works have appeared in 8Poems, Book of Matches, Fairy Piece, Drunk Monkeys, and ONE ART: a journal of poetry. Lynn recently released a poetry chapbook, “The Truth of Blue Horses,” published by Alien Buddha Press. Lynn edits Harpy Hybrid Review, and her Twitter is @sweetfirefly2.