I-75 South: The Steeple of St. Josaphat Aligns With the Renaissance Center

Isaac Miller


The New, my friends, is not a matter of
letting machines force out our handiwork.
Don't be confused by change; soon those who have
praised the “New” will realize their mistake.

                                    -Rainer Maria Rilke


My foot presses forward and the car
accelerates. The wheels' turning smoothes
into a steady glide. My grandfather's hand
on my shoulder steadies
my hands turning on the cold,
black wheel. The wheel of the city
doesn't turn. Jefferson, Gratiot,
Woodward, Grand River. Relics
from the era when farms
cut as ribbons through the riverbed's silt. Once,
this land formed layers of dark
through which roots ran thick
and multifarious as the names of rain.
Under concrete pylons and the weight
they bear, we move, quickening
as the city falls back into view.
My grandfather recollects the significance
of the streets we speed under, our path
an indentation. We find our exit, what place
more fitting for remembrance than this island?
Frozen, the water we cross seems as solid
as the shore we aim toward.
When I find the right moment to break
his line of thought, I park, opening his door.
As we walk along the edge of land
I imagine we are at the edge
of all things, the world itself falling
away in the ice-choked current.
As he speaks I picture
the people and events he invokes
falling too. Over the edge,
beyond our ability to name.