Pine Knob in Winter and Summer

The creamy hue of
potato salad with celery
mayonnaise and egg whites
ruddily smeared at the borderline
of baked beans
can connect
with the color there beneath the chairlift's sway
over the local
landfill ski-hill's artificially icy

if the line is long enough.

The line for heat lamp pizza in the lodge
is long
and the crust tastes too sugary
in a way.

Pine Knob and Alpine Valley
pass for resorts in these parts
and that is no knock—

they are holy ground:
the bunny hills of concussions dressed
in embarrassingly cutting-edge equipment
worn by amateurs
waking groggy and
tethered to a snowmobile's pull.

men from Waterford and Sterling Heights slice down
a frigid wall
in 90s neon and
tucked-in jeans
cigarettes dangling
Bavarian architectural approximation spanning psychedelically
in their goggles' polarization.

in June
the nation's top touring acts
as of 1988 load into Pine Knob's amphitheater
early in the day to set up for the show—

the same men from the fringes arrive
in the same jeans
perhaps cut and frayed at mid-thigh
by now.

High-schoolers are dropped off with their dad's Top-Siders
and fleeces and rum
spiked into large Coke
screw tops
that taste too sugary
in a way.

Late that night
after forty-two recognizable hits
it is cold
relatively for the season and

gazing above
upward to the hill
but beneath the dizzy stars
all breezily grassy there now

where the smudged black figures
ride down:

the first date night-ride
blazing floodlights
the towrope
the glimpse of hunched-over back-skin
her bronze skin on creamy snow.

The next day is with a sweet-natured hangover:
the Fourth of July
and its memory explosions
pulsing in Nana's
potato salad.