In truth, we were miles away
from all three rivers,
still their convergence defined us.
Four hundred and forty-six bridges
crossing back and forth
into the grid at the city's small heart.
At the far end of the trolley line
was the good life they wanted --
for them, for us.
Back then there were just as many days
in each September.
In the lot behind the restaurant
I stood alone in a hard rain
in diluted suburban darkness
soaking my uniform through.
Torrents. Closing my eyes.
I knew that somewhere
was a gaze I wanted to walk into.
I like to be at the edge of open waters --
the feel of an amphitheater at dawn,
a rendering of someday.
I had a home in a city of names
I would relinquish
though the rivers always took back the rain.
Alison Prine grew up in Mt. Lebanon and now lives in Burlington, Vt., where she works as a psychotherapist. Her poems have recently appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Harvard Review, Chatham University's Fourth River and The Chautauqua Literary Journal, among others.