Morning River Spell

People think the best view

of Pittsburgh

is up on a mountain

looking out

over the city

But I'd have to disagree

It's early in the morning

5:47am

and I'm in the boat – Psalm 44:5

at the stern

steering

us

out

of the channel

To the right

route 28 still under construction

but quiet now

To the left

Herr's island

emptied and abandoned looking

dark, dead

the only thing separating us from the river,

the Allegheny

It's dirty

(and ugly

and riddled with debris)

during the day

under bright sunlight

but

in the early morning

it is a dark

glittering

mystery

When we burst free of the

closed

darkened

protected

channel

a hush

comes over us

and we whisper

the hiss

click

plop

of the oars echo around us

the loudest noise on

our

river

I look to my stroke seat

watch

as she gazes

a trance

her head turned up

to the sky

I can see the stars reflected in her eyes

and I

tip my own face up

The darkness above is clean

overwhelming

never ending

breathtaking

only the twinkling stars

and Mars

or maybe Venus (I don't know)

break up the infinite darkness

and I am lost

for that moment

We turn the boat

at the booming voice of our coach

and we row

down

down

down

to the city

to the Point

and I see

what the rest

cannot

The buildings jut up

against the sky

darker still, silhouettes

and I become

enraptured

distracted

awed

their lights twinkle like the

stars

and cause the

sky

and the

city

to blend

to become

one

I don't think about

what I say

how I steer

where I'm going

until the

crackle

of the mic from

the Lowe

Kristy

cuts through and

I'm told

that

I'm too

close -

to move over

and the spell

is broken

and we row back into the

closed

darkened

protected

channel