Stay: the lake mimics a dreamcatcher
at close of day. Adirondack perches lay
barren as barstools. A city vibrancy shifts
into sunset with descending rays which
glaze the gates of water with
a gaze the shade of galleon brass.
The golden comforts aligned by time
and found in one another are rediscovered
in nature, where lay energies both human
and divine. There is no need for judgment
in this purpose, nor the slow repentant
hours milked from patience in tidal
pool styles. Somewhere, treasure may
alight on the power tired irises belie –
a place far beyond the measure of miles.
Might I just explain to her how this happens from time to time? Might I just tell her this: "Look, you will meet four or five men in your life that you could commit to and be happy with. It's all about timing. When the time is right take the one who appears next and stick to him. And if it works, don't be wooed by the next one. Because the next one will come. This thing we've got happens sometimes. I felt it before my wife once; twice since I married her; and now with you. Our chemistry comes and goes. But if you act on it every time you end up alone. It's a metaphysical rule or something. I've seen it happen."
For some reason I can't say those words, Joseph reflected. Too personal. Those revelations come after having tasted her lips, after the tempest of your bodies has blown away all mental barriers. Then you truly connect. Then you share such intimacies.
They never get it right. A stranger will always cross your path. The lines in your palm say you have a choice—you can go left and find love, or go right and play Pick-Up-Sticks with chaos and/or hardship. It's always Either/Or. If you're a man, your Satin Doll will be all holy days, spicy, gorgeous, prick-ready, to "die for." She's your virgin, double-wedding ring girl, but a tigress. Believe this: she'll love your birth sign, savor your mayo-mustard Subway (which she hates), even dare to ride Coney Island's cyclone.
I have yet to survey the Irish grit
of my grandmother’s hands, to ask after her first
stumbles with needle and thread—the awkward outline
of butterflies drifting the pillowcase. I’ve struggled
to conjure the deftness of her youthful fingers
thrust between the thorns, as she ate blackberries
straight from the bramble. Now I wish I’d memorized
her tenor of silence or chanced being the grandchild
crouched at the crack in the kitchen door
Get your copy of RiverLit 12!
Writing by Luke Roe, Joseph Falank, Michelle Hartman, Bruce Holbert, Jerry Ratch, Geffrey Davis, Lisa Rizzo, Casey FitzSimons, Stephenson Muret, Isaac Black, April Salzano, Laura Kaminski, Marisol Baca, James Damiani
Art by Nochi Sardea, R. August, Christian Gastaldi, Florine Demosthene. Comic by Justin Winslow.
[...] Leslie shows up in a dirty white tee shirt, size XXXL, that says Pig Farmers Never Starve, and of course no bra, which means her boobs are playing rugby with each other whenever she moves, and she’s holding a Bucket O’ Soda, because a Big Gulp isn’t big enough. And she’s with her boyfriend Andrew—her husband Dave’s away in prison for armed robbery. Andrew, a good old boy from Autaugaville, Alabama with a face like a vanilla Moon Pie, weighs 300 pounds and is not wearing a shirt.
It’s too hot for a shirt, Dolly, he whines, flexing his chest muscles to make his breast tattoos shimmy.
From RiverLit No. 11
A honeybee stung him and he dreamed
of caves deep beneath the Earth,
ballads of silk and honey,
sweet oil that burned an eternal fragrance,
and two amorphous shapes battling,
the every contour of one
the exact opposite of the other.
"And they never even touched."
From RiverLit No. 10
Malcolm knew he might be mistaken, but he thought most women indulged in at least a few sentimental visions leading up to the birth of their children. When his sister got pregnant, she admitted to spending at least an hour per day staring at a wall and fantasizing about her impending motherhood. She pictured falling asleep in a rocking chair with the baby draped across her chest, building cityscapes with her child out of brightly colored blocks, the castles and skyscrapers stretching from one side of her apartment to the other. She laughed at how sappy she’d become.
Denise refused a rocking chair. Clearly, the baby would crawl beneath its gliders and be crushed like a road-kill possum. No building blocks. He’d turn into a python, unhinge his jaw, and cram the giant, baby-safe blocks straight down his throat.
"They call them 'blocks' for a reason," Denise said, right around the six-month marker. "They block airways. No thanks."
From RiverLit No. 9