14.1 (Fall 2009)   The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFMake the MagArchives2River
Bird Detail

Matthew Cox

Church of Post-Latter Day Saints

Saint Francis stands in the corner.
His eyes track the even click
of the second-hand
around the face of his wristwatch,

his foot impatiently tapping
as if there is some place he'd rather be.
The law of diminished expectations
was coined for an occasion like this.

Nothing finally really means nothing.
Francis seems to know it too,
swatting with his Bible
at a mosquito, which carves itself into the scene

like a demand or a question,
a tiny black angel
now crushed like a bug
against the silvery white of the walls.

Poor Chopin

After a meal of beer and pills
my eyes are Vermeer's
the edges of things
hazy and emanating light.

The killer just called
to ask me directions. I lied.
I had been tipped off
by his dentist.

Down the hall, a pianist
performs Chopin poorly,
but maybe it's a poor recording
or only a music box
playing weakly on the dresser.

Outside, children
not yet aliens in their own bodies
play like toy soldiers
in the street as their gears
slowly wind down.

Matthew Cox, from Bremerton, Washington, is a union electrician. His poems have been published in In Posse Review and No Tell Motel. contact