On the pilings of a tributary to the Schuylkill,
we sat. Minnows dolloped the water with their
mouths, the squat behind us abandoned:
a litter of cloth and ash, mattress springs.

The bridge clattered. One. Two. Three.
Your hat tilted as though in contemplation;
pebbles dropped from my fingers, concentric
circles. The troll, rearing and ugly, thrusting

its shabby head into the light of the day, was
not my hunger for your mouth, for sunlight
cutting the water, nor for the failing green of
spring; the troll was the empty camp, gutted.

Your fingers stained with rolling tobacco,
great tufts of dark hair like a goat’s horns;
above us, cars clanging sonorously along,
each one bigger than the last and too full.