Martin Stolen
Summit Avenue

I fell in love, once, with a house
near the end of Summit Avenue

she had an old-city wiseness about her
but delicate, at the same time, a light sky-blue
with white trim around her windows
and red-scalloped tiles on her roof

she was already in love with her neighbor
a staid, three-story brick place
with a view of the St. Paul cathedral
and a dormer window near the top
     (there was a desk behind this pane of glass
     and books and papers too)
where one could sit and
watch the darkness of the river
and the movement of the city

an art student then, I cycled by every day
and proclaimed my love against the old
hardwood of her front door

she let me in, once
but my hands shook and I spilled coffee
on the living-room floor

that's when she mentioned that
the anatomical differences between her and I
would be as insurmountable as her love for someone else

the whole thing ended badly