As the rain is my witness, I have discarded inadequate bundles of life like little sticks with titles; Lost Loves and Things I Used to Believe and The Pleasures of Self-Pity in Disguise. Up ahead another story, cleansing itself with its paws, and farther, the river roaring like a rampant conviction and the wilderness of a cloud passing.

††††Something about the moon, something about grass and the direction of the wind on a quiet night. The door opening and no one there but me, about to step out of myself, my body talking to the air as if the only thing alive in the world contained both of us, some creature about to enter the unknown of itself because it's no longer alone and the night is warm and part of it and speaking. A beauty so persistent I felt sad.

††††I went to sleep with my sadness and awoke clinging. Sad delight, awake and depart claws. Some departing sun of crossed boxes, held like that, not trembling but ancient. I seem to be sinking. No rest for the very.

††††A beauty so sad and long I grow persistent. Thereís a reason for this, but itís upriver and itís broken and itís floating. The passing of a wilderness clouding my sky. †My wilderness now, piece by piece, loose on the great bus of river. Outside the trial, the sun was waiting to report the cloudsí motion to adjourn. The tour guide was soaked and sleeping and I climbed back inside him and pointed out the precedents, which bobbed and seemed to be waving as they passed though probably they too were sleeping.



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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