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.
PrescienceI shall die with words like minnowsPrescience by riparii
still attached to the strings of my heart,
swimming like sperm, jostled and mad,
bearing the prologue of life, the opening bars,
the glorious first drone of the chanter
that moves blood in the way of volcanoes to war,
to explosion, the crepuscular exuberance of dawn,
these minnows attached to the shimmering lines.
But the little darlings get confused in the shadows,
panic when light breaks above the tiny Os of their heads,
while the heart-pole bends
like the long slim fingers of a willow,
down, pointing down to the cress-edged creases
and rocky seams of the cold water shallows
that only the babies of the brook trout know,
beneath the laughing poplar and the somber pine,
where water striders tickle the surface of the quiet pools,
like children tracing raindrops on the glass panes
of a grey-lit room on the longest day of their lives,
I will die like minnows, still attached.
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.
215poetry has no place in a world like ours215 by XTRQS
we toss and turn on planes and trains
sleeping our life every day
we wander aimlessly in synonyms and metonymous designs
and wake up with dictionary fever as we struggle to find meaning
The Heart Dances Even as It BreaksAtop the clouds of AmherstThe Heart Dances Even as It Breaks by TheGlassIris
Emily Dickinson rules the garden
surrounding the blue in slanted light,
ringing Sylvia Plath’s
three-volume edition of hell,
where she sits enthroned
like Ereshkigal, Sumerian
queen of the underworld
a typewriter at her feet
and a boiling percolator of coffee
brewing in the far West.
Queen Mother of the Western Paradise
cradles a cup brimming with tea,
watching the rolling hills of Whitman
as he stands atop the green waves
hiding the sun beneath his love.
Mark Twain smokes a pipe, poking fun
at the swollen American Dream, which seethes
over the Fitzgerald palaces, where King Minos
dances both foxtrot and twist, and Scott,
grinning wry above the hanging gardens
of Babylon revisited, finds himself wholly immersed,
surrounded by Zelda’s tender, nightly wreckage
radiant with stars, dizzy with love
as a stone-drunk Li Bai falls into Stygian waters
to kiss the moon in earnest.
The circuses of Rome turn slowly
as P.T. Barnum hums the national anthem
Lessons for TodayToday in math class, they would be learning how to factor quadratic equations. Miss Gracie, called Mrs. G by her students, knew this because she had the lesson planned out meticulously across three-and-a-half sheets of college-ruled notebook paper, which sat neatly in a folder before her. She knew because, like with all her lessons, she had recited it in front of her dressing mirror last night, right before bed.Lessons for Today by Falareste
She glanced at the clock. Ten minutes left until class. Its tick, tick, tick was the only sound in the room.
She looked around the room. Nothing but the equation charts that she covered with long sheets of colored paper during tests (always to the dismay of the students) and Tu fui, ego eris. Latin. What you are, I was; what I am, you will be. She stared at it. She had written it out on a sheet of white cardstock and stuck it to the wall with blue tape on her first day. It seemed like a kind and encouraging quote, a reflection
How to Be AloneStart with the range of starsHow to Be Alone by TheGlassIris
that line the perimeter of heaven.
Isolate systems, light years apart
until only a barren sliver of light
leaks through the cracked dark.
Know the space around you.
Miles and miles.
The steel beams of forever
wheeling like a dust cloud.