the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




Michael Morical


In a slide show of my brain
the mind loses mystery fast.
What processes the world
processes itself:
a network of hardware
wrapped in insulation
with gaps where it's supposed
to fit snug against my skull—
no eternity,
no palm tree,
no copies of the love
I've made.

I was expecting 3-D
or at least one cavern
that spirals somewhere
I can't fathom,
no matter how minute,
obstructed by its own turns,
spilling through each other,
poised for dreams
to bring them out.

Instead, Dr. Chow clicks
her mouse on a sequence
of flat views
as she sips coffee, assuring me
the gaps in my gray matter
don't indicate atrophy.



Loving loses effervescence.
The bubbles fizz and froth away,
leaving water flatter, flatter,
having tickled lips and tongue.
I let my love evaporate
and proclaim the virtues of thirst,
the ringing, hollow notes alone.
I crow. I lean on no one.
I crave a drink of water
and crackle, turning back to dust.
A single swallow would quench me —
our old routine, one blasé caress.
Drop by drop, the rain revives me.
Why a glass and not an ocean?



A bus drops
me at my doorstep
where the evening paper
is ready to unfold.
Frozen food awaits.
Sitting on the stoop,
I hesitate
while there's still light,
while echoes of echoes
throb behind my eyes.
It's TV time.
What must be news
flickers out
a neighbor's window
to the sidewalk.
Where are my glasses?
I squint at
violets in the grass,
cracks in my driveway,
a trike parked
just where fancy
left it—
no keys in my pocket,
the windows barred.



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