Arch Bridge Notes
The sky was silver and overcast on the water where
cormorants dived with deadly calm. The mouth
of the Humber opens into Ontario and in the distance
vessels kept west where La Salle portaged (1680).
Etienne Brulé even earlier (1615), explored
the “Carrying Place” before Huron captured
and tortured him. They ate him, too. I had biked
from the Don to Humber Bay, and stood there
at the Arch Bridge by the great rivers and waterways
of Ontario in that brutal movement of material. The breadth
of a man’s back strapped with tools and pelts. How it was
to heave from the west branch of the Holland River, say,
down twenty-eight miles to the mouth of the Humber.
Brulé was the first manic white to see Lake Huron, Georgian Bay,
the sault of the Ste. Marie. His eyes held to this point where the Arch
Bridge spans. And where time sinks into linear obscurity, and is all
feeling, absorbed distances. The terror of importation of the norm,
strict standards trained on Iroquois and Huron. Energetic
crises of perception bound the wilder European outlook
to disaster. Now a dinner cruise offers views. Bicycle
grease on my sleeves. A line at a pizza shop. Joggers animate
the shared pedestrian path and shirtless men sunbathe
in thin light. La Salle willed his way south
to the Gulf of Mexico (he was murdered in Texas
by exhausted crew). A city is a transformer
of the energies of its people. Water and sunlight.
A never-ending hunger to eat and increase
birthrights. Look out at the Bay’s ragged edge.
Piled granite slabs. Stand again at the interior.