Featured Writer

Rich Ives

( Washington )


Temporary Embodiment of a Passing Cloud

I came back on the roads made for leaving. I began welcoming the moon and entered the dream life of water.

Moonlight replaced the air. It traveled there without a platform. She held all the clouds she had been carrying in her shoe up to the light to verify the integrity of their blindness.

Although I was so transparent I participated openly in my own patience, I still carried the same handful of weightless thorns (when I arrived at the village, it was a book and I closed my eyes to read it) and the smell of several shadows, feeding.

In time I could no longer pronounce my surface name. Tentative, I was sniffing at my universe like a falling star, as if to mirror an absence, as lover and monk.

It was like coming upon a cave in darkness and finding someone forgotten, breathís candle barely flickering from the creatureís soft opening as your name is spoken and one of you reaches out.

And the loved one released her eyes like ferrets darting into the hole after prey (itís been like this before Iíve been told and you went hungry). As someoneís god, she carried long black bolts of hair tied to her belt (the sky was like that in those days, its beauty bestial and dense with instinct) and wrapped her fingerprint around another zebra.

I could have been the prince with his tongue frozen to the moat (only the stripperís biblical snake having thus far fallen into the stars in his eyes) and I could have been released but for the scribeís familial objection to the square of lawn upon which the virginal cake was performed.

She did indeed want a child, but the lovely couple ran out of frozen deposits and withdrew. Itís true that sometimes we do not wish to be circled with arms as a gesture of affection or possessed of a violin that would prefer to be a horse, even if it will never be a horse. Itís as if the law of possibility shook your hand and the gangsterís powder-puff face proved to be dusted with tiny engines living in the middle ages. Drive around back advised the priestís young undercarriage, but the particular desire had not yet succumbed to the compass of its potential and the engines were far more delicate than they appeared.

Right now Iím already the next accordion with time to deceive my keys, the result a song like a spout leaning into the stream of river rising to itself even as falling, greenly hinted and as attractively unreliable as topiary. Iíve had several flavored bridges offer to and I still have my Gertrude Stein bread rolls (a calling card which does no calling might well get bored) (the gentle retarded one having stolen the swanís headgear) (the childís teddy bear barely half eaten by his lovely horse) (the space beneath my upper zipper only once mistaken for a porcelain soup tureen) and a disgusting memory of the charming gastronome who threw me from the window even as he asked for the hand that broke my fall.

Iím saying this but not to a cloudless sky, the reticent pathway.

Next - Melissa Buckheit