the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night


Fall 2014 / Spring 2015



M. Nasorri Pavone


Steadfast and serene amidst the camera’s
fevered strikes of lightening,

the bride and groom figurine atop
their conquered glacier cake

offers a lesson in stability.  Commitment
involves standing your ground.

Neither shivers with doubt.
They gaze outward at the world,

not eye-locked upon each other.
They simply loop arms to become one.

Anybody can be jealous of the life span
of sturdy plastic.  Nothing will break them

apart but a hard whack from a strong
blade.  Even lighting them afire would

only meld them into a single, swirling pool.
Such fantasies of destruction come

as anguished follow-up from the same
mind that urges them on, dynamic

duo in their super-hero costumes
of black and white, the colors

of all or nothing at all, which they
wisely never remove for mere mortal

wear: a jumbo T-shirt or other
sacks of aesthetic, romantic indifference.


White Plate

A white plate is similar to a white tooth
in that the same bad luck may befall it:

scratches, stains, chips, breaks.
It’s cheaper though to replace a white plate.

A black tooth is not at all like a black plate.
The latter is hip.  The other is not,

especially in the front.  A black tooth
was born white, then became black.

You can’t say the same about plates,
or too much else.  Why is a police car both

black and white?  A hot fudge sundae?
Yes, they both have a bit of red on top.

We’ll return to red in a bit.
I don’t see dark brown as really black.

Beige is more light brown than lily white.
Someone may turn white as a ghost

but never white as a plate.  So why
are ghosts white?  To see them in the dark?

Turning white is a loss of red, of blood,
like the dead.  A brown woman pales

as a white plate flies mysteriously
off the shelf, assaulting her

with a blackening eye saucer
and front tooth to follow.  Over her brow

at the point of impact, a silent siren
unrolls its hot, red ribbons.



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