EasterRemember what you love,Easter by riparii
you with sand in your teeth
and the feral burn of hunger
in your eyes.
God sends his regrets.
He made you grasping and slow,
in a late hour
when the wine washed low.
Remember what you love.
Fall to your knees in the toss
and the swell, quell
the appetite of the cold black sea.
Beg blessings for your home
and the salt-sick trees.
Reach what lies near:
the fat-faced child, the sweet-soft lamb;
tether the tantrum, trickle the blood.
Offer psalms to what is holy,
whisper the name of what you love
as it bobs in the bleak mad sea.
Hunting CoyotesHunting CoyotesHunting Coyotes by riparii
Footfall of a frost-faced hunter
heavy with a winter kind of hope;
one paw raised above the stream.
You thought I would shatter with the sharp bark
of the gun, but moonlight still sparkles
in a spray of wet pearls along my sides.
I am cold teeth, I am the blood-stopping stare.
Between ActsHer new lover had buckets of moneyBetween Acts by riparii
and twenty years more than she,
but her hair was the yellow
of every happy ending,
eyes blue as a January sky.
We sat one night eating cranberry bread
that Nancy had made, crumbly and dry.
She liked it that way she said,
by way of self-defense, and we ate it anyway
because it was something to put in our mouths
that reminded us of things that tasted good
the way dreams remind us
of who we were when we were young.
He bought her Prada shoes, Margaret said,
her fingers twisting in the black fur of her restless dog.
I don't know what to think, it isn't how we live.
Well it's how her daughter lives now, at twenty-two
with her streetlight hair and police car eyes.
We could wear Prada shoes to the grain store
or the Town Hall, we decided,
with our old jeans and our winter coats.
DistemperOh, did you scream?Distemper by riparii
No, ninety ravens
released from the rack of my ribs
in a ravage of wings
have disquieted the cat.
Oh, an aspirin for my mind
(lay your head in my hand
drink me down, feather-drown)
thin its belly-close blood
uphold the constitution
of my hollow-cast heart.
[Fire the dragon
the fairy waters her way
across the winter]
So stout, so ale,
hold fast, touch bone
Oh, you would rather die
than bring home bad meat.
Teeth, WristsnovemberTeeth, Wrists by flummo
kissed me blue
and cold and bitter;
eyes that cradle
the sun without
opening, and hands
that have forgotten
the way to heaven.
RieslingSparsely stardusted skies give way to another greycloud dayRiesling by Bark
The color of sheetmetal, dishwater, old dreams dying
Thirty hours and fifty-three minutes away a woman bakes bread
I can feel the warmth of her kitchen, taste the Riesling
All the way here
Here in my small dusty apartment the lights are on
But I'm not home
Leopold and LoebNathan wasn't interested in traveling or going out or much of anything; he was home for the summer because he had nowhere else to be and had spent most of his time documenting the behavior of a bluejay who came to the garden every morning.Leopold and Loeb by glossolalias
[A male with an especially beautiful crest
and bright black markings that stood out
starkly against cerulean feathers,
always somewhat windblown but shiny-eyed
and a sweet singer who drank the cool fountain water
rather than the reeking birdbath.]
Nathan would sketch his little avian, spend the rest of the day reading about more tropical specimens, admiring their bright plumage in hand-colored photographs. [Last Christmas, his mother bought him a hawk-headed parrot, and the bird was allowed the run of his room. He would feed it crackers and smile when it nestled on his shoulder, picking affectionately at his hair while Nathan wondered if the blue jay would be so friendly,
knowing the answer was no,]
but that was why he liked birds; they were e