Not heights.

Not even

the falls.

He fears

straight lines.

He’d skate

down Lombard

if it curved

through all

of North Beach.

But to fall

straight, from

an above

to a below

would shatter him

as he fell

seeing only

her long,

straight back.


I just never cared for the vertical.

—Edward Hopper

Mark J. Mitchell has been a working poet for 50 years. He’s the author of five full-length collections, and six chapbooks. His latest collection is Something To Be from Pski’s Porch Publishing. He’s fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Dante, and his wife, activist Joan Juster. He lives in San Francisco.