the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




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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