The 2River View 18.2 (Winter 2014)

Annmarie O'Connell

A Single Bird Waits on the Empty Clothesline

feverishly shaking the rain off his wings.
You sit in the park and wait
for the sound of the baby
girl’s laughter in between the wind
after the man pretends to kick her
as she comes swinging down from
the sky.
After you hear it,
a man from across the street tosses
his bag of garbage out the car window
and it lands in someone's front yard. He waits for his father
to hug him, or at least touch him, like that dog
waits there by the young boy as he waves
a stick in front of his mouth. The drool runs down
his furry throat. His teeth clench
and miss. He’s only a whimper
or two away.

You Can Take Any Body

and get it to stop moving. But
what seems still and soundless
waits. Like that man in the driver’s seat
tasting all the secret bits of his own
aliveness. Watch out for that girl digging
through her pockets—
your past flies off her like sparks.

Between all the bodies,
one must be brimming
with courage. Someone must survive
us all. A woman is way up there
in the very last window with nothing
on but a dim light. She’s about to remake
herself then sleep.

Annmarie O’Connell resides on the South Side of Chicago. Her work has appeared in Slipstream, SOFTBLOW, Verse Daily, and Whiskey Island Magazine. Her chapbook Her Last Cup of Light was recently published by Aldrich Press.

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