Time and Tide
Outside her window, the canal’s slow
waters scum green. Unfathomable, 
          how it never stops. 

Every day a bad day—
her stomach lurches, motion sick.

You need to quiet your nerves, the doctor   
says and prescribes pills, exposure therapy.

My entire life is exposure, she says
and labors to believe 

it is the river that moves, that inches by
and not her not her room that becomes 

passenger coach and she its rider 
and insists instead it is the city 

that stands still and she is the one 
pulling out of the station slowly at first 

          then faster and faster 
until she’s reduced to ghost blur, to oily 
whorl—a finger-smear on glass.
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