Small Daisy Tied Around a Finger Like a Ring by Rich Ives

I was watching all the ink bleed from the newspaper. It stopped raining. Accidents, outrages, even a few celebrations leaking, my right to know the life outside myself washed clean.

I was on my way to the parts store.

I remember when you were my brother, before the accident, when you were bigger and that’s all that mattered. You were older too, so I guess it wasn’t all that mattered. You’ve been living inside me all my life, but I don’t know who you are.

I was thinking about you while the newspaper bled. There were a lot of dead people in there, but this time you weren’t one of them. Some kind of a secret vegetable pain was cranking around in my stomach. I gave it some Pepto Bismol. I gave it some consideration.

I thought about you leaving me and I thought about all the things I didn’t know about, that never even arrived, and l thought, Let the swallow deliver the sky’s thought and the sky’s thought hold the pleasure of the unseen and the pleasure of the unseen deliver itself by means unknown to the end of the nest which has stretched from the one inside to the one that holds your thought of the one not reached by thought, and I thought, Let the rise of monuments beyond their known subjects become your means of achieving an elevated potential, and I thought we were inside a possibility that was inside another possibility or maybe it was like the catching of a fish that has just swallowed a fish that has just swallowed a fish that is still alive, and so I thought I was getting carried away.

Then I kicked the newspaper into the sewer.

I keep doing that. I keep remembering.

Then I reached the kind of pleasure the forest finds in you. I’m in there somewhere, busy padding the answer with questions.



Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. His story collection, The Balloon Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking, was one of five finalists for the 2009 Starcherone Innovative Fiction Prize.

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