It is so beautiful, so beautiful, Minneapolis, November,

walking on Lake Street,

A girl in black leather jacket, black leather boots on her feet,

Blonde hair piled on her head, too much eyeliner,

Standing by the White Castle diner,

Smoking an E-cigarette,

Who is part of a quartet

Waiting for the bus to St. Paul

In front of the Somali Mall

Where a Somali woman, who is round and small,

Wearing a bright orange scarf and round glasses,


A boy with buzzed hair, skater jacket,

holding a skateboard, and he

Is not looking at a black lady yelling at an SUV.

She is really upset and distressed,

And the way you know you are in the Midwest

Is that the four people at the bus stop on this chilly day

Are all looking the other way,

Pretending they cannot hear

This outburst, trying to disappear.

Eight guys in a used-car lot as a woman in hot pink t-shirt walked past:

"Hey baby! Girl, where you walkin' so fast?"

"Boy, who you think you're talkin to?

I'm not lookin' at you!"

But she gives them a smile.

Flicking her hair back all the while.

Then at the next bus stop

Ingebretsen's Meat Market and Scandinavian Gift Shop,

Old white people with white hair who are wearing

Norwegian sweaters shop for pickled herring.

They look like Yonny Yonson's uncle and auntie.

Next door is Marisqueria La Que Buena Restaurante. Across the street is a Middle Eastern grocery store.

A bell jingles on the door

As two women wearing head coverings walk in,

dark-skinned, young,

Talking fast in a foreign tongue.

On 38th Street, in a bar, the bartenders dressed for Halloween that night,

One with a blood-stained shirt and fishnet tights,

One in a pink CareBear costume,

The people at the bar, a little drunk at mid-afternoon,

Applaud for him. A woman with maroon

Lipstick, drinking ale. A chubby man with goatee.

A bald bearded man watching baseball on TV.

A man who grew up in Bemidji

In a red plaid shirt which he

Wears sleeves rolled up, and a top hat

With tea bags hanging from it that

He explains stands for the Tea Party who,

He makes clear, he doesn't belong to.

In Uptown, a man with big nose and shaved head in a cafe

Skinny black tie, black-rim glasses, fedora, suit (charcoal grey)

An Asian woman in black hoodie, black vest,

black jeans, black cap

With a silver laptop in her lap,

An Apple Mac Book Pro,

And a textbook at her elbow.

The girl behind the counter in faded flannel, green and red,

A rolled bandana around her head

To keep her long hair out of her face.

The place

Full of people on computers, reading books, reading the Star Tribune,

A quiet commune

Of turtlenecks, goatees, black yoga pants, running shoes,

Shaved heads, grey sweaters, a few tattoos,

Blue fleece, glasses parked on people's hairdos,

And how do we know this is Minnesota? It's not the white complexions

It's that people are sharing the newspaper, passing around the sections,

And though the WiFi here is painfully slow,

Does anyone complain to the barista? No.

No one has harassed her

Insisting that she make the downloads faster.

It's November. Winter is on the way.

We will take it as it comes, day by day.

Thanks for coming. Welcome to our town.

I hope that eventually your download comes floating down.