Rhythms: Wrinkled Hands at the Bottom of the Detroit River

The Wrinkled Hands

by LJ Frank

The eloquence of the urbane


a few minutes of a wintery poetic

a December day on the Hudson fades  

a jarring memory 

only to recall  

political pornography at its best

what to do with the impoverished 

for the wrinkled hands were alone

at the bottom of the Detroit River

symbolism aside

the frigid air exhales its presence

with no trace or color or ethnic architecture

the affluence of the wealthy

are living elsewhere


a man sits within four walls

the smell of urine soaks the breath

bestial appears to be his neighbor’s game

but across the way and down several city blocks

condominiums of trust

designed with the fragrance of class

with fashionable lusts


and over half the Earth’s inhabitants

live in the urbs of architectural playbooks

designed by jury

of those with a network

and the body was never recovered

from the river’s floor


with an eye on the approaching watery depths  

migration is anticipated

life is transient nonetheless

the sand and soil always washes back out to sea

while a new shore is created


fresh drops of water create a signature

a shallow well carved in stone

natural features evolve

trees grow in between rocks

fossils carving an existence

green, warm and wet

recharging, sharing

the wireless links of the brain

the abstract canvas acquires fresh meaning

placid and reflective

are the streams that pass

through life

in a compact vehicle

on a narrow transit

a place where intimacy explores

the diversity of the impassioned

while emotions flirt with an ism

fingers raw from the blood of desire

the spirit climbs a mountain

and doesn’t look back

as the shore moves further inland

the ears bend

to listen to the Burning Bush of the Ancients

buried in past ruminations

and still the unknown

who do the hands belong to?