Where You Stand

And now I cannot remember how I would
have had it. It is not a conduit (confluence?) but a place.
The place, of movement and an order.
The place of old order.
But the tail end of the movement is new.
Driving us to say what we are thinking.
It is so much like a beach after all, where you stand
and think of going no further.
And it is good when you get to no further.
It is like a reason that picks you up and
places you where you always wanted to be.
This far, it is fair to be crossing, to have crossed.
Then there is no promise in the other.
Here it is. Steel and air, a mottled presence,
small panacea
and lucky for us.
And then it got very cool.

—John Ashbery

 

In 1988, John Ashbery wrote this poem for the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, connecting Loring Park with the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

In 1988, John Ashbery wrote this poem for the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, connecting Loring Park with the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.