the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




Patricia Brody

That We Now Leave

My beautiful washing machine
my dishwasher lovely too
my bedroom window on the lordly Hudson
my big sunny airy living room
my bathroom with a river view
my bed facing south in the morning
my kitchen doing dishes facing north
my cross ventilation while I sleep.

My window with the full moon in it.
My bedroom at dawn with birdsong.
My doorman who lends me money.
My 666, my monument block, my calle cien.
My original, forceful toilet that flushes everything down.
My windy home the wind whistles through.


The Workshop Dug Up

Poetry was to blame.
Digging that red dirt, as if
we could trade lust for knowledge,
knowledge for lust — any day, any day.  Would Leda?
          Would Crazy Jane?
Word. Wracked Victorians writing the last word
& each bloody inheritress blazing her edge.
What were they —— are we — to do.
               We are darting at the edge.
We plunge our feet into the roaring surf:
Sand…gravel…grind…CRASH… crsh—sh—sh…
The undertow.
               What if our bodies, sucked out to sea—
I am trying to describe the mess poetry makes.
The sting on your chilled skin (sin), & how
I will soothe you with my salty lips
rake you with love's leering-loser-lonely-longing lines &
     a terrified kiss.



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