On the river's bank, boat-legions rolled
in search of commerce, bridges to build;
souls, cargo (heavy, light), bought & sold,
coffers waiting in Philly to be filled.
Ladies stepped gingerly onto green banks,
white satin, black lace, versed in politesse or no-
patterns walked, insignias inscribed into air-
young ones, underlings already in their ranks,
sought to make the landing show-offy, slow,
down a hundred yards from a drunken fair.
Add a century, an Expressway looms over
the murk- wave-sounds, squeals, & metal-
which the Schuylkill cannot answer, hovering
under- slow-moving, patient, & settled.
The river's mind is settled- the human race
churns around it restlessly, adding bodies
shorn of dignity, bloated, pulp-bloody, blue,
having carried burdens the river never dreams
of, emptiness so incorrigible the Schuylkill's face
registers nothing but limp waves- tender, true.
The Keats-brain, peering in, questioning, elevates
the Schuylkill's mystery into frozen heat-
truth & beauty all in the browning, decay, fate
of all water-bodies subject to our meat-
I sit on the edge, watching overhanging leaves,
frozen myself by the gross negligence
of what lies beneath the river's surface,
& my own, as the summer sun inverts, grieves
for the masses, exploring no penitence
as I am, grounded, here, diving for purpose-