The 2River View 15.3 (Spring 2011)

Andrew Cox

Exclamation Point

These two people were bushwhacked by a business arrangement.
At 3 a.m. the tables on the restaurant patio danced a waltz without
a witness. The church wondered why the room filled with people.
Someone says to someone else we had better play it cool.

Block parties everywhere bring together those who should not be
collected. The girl's shell collection waits in a box in the attic for her
return. Going solo abandoned this man as he sat in his cubicle. The
way she walks transformed the way he lived.

Who would have thought the father-in-law the dust would own the
road. Who would have thought these two people's shoes would say
hello. A ring will somehow become a dress and a chance meeting.

Uncertainty shakes hands with its two brothers here today and lost.
One more sentence before we arrive then the exclamation point. The
door opens and then they sit down to meet the new man in her life.


With lipstick and clear skin the daughters let you put them to the
right of everything. To the left mothers fall off the map. You could feel
outrage but what comes is the inward weather. Even mothers with
blond hair leave behind their umbrellas.

A boy woos a girl while the shirts in the closet feel left behind. One
word at a time the man finds under rocks what he wants to say.
Someone you know is sick and you don't know it. Dead ends kiss the
clues so they won't know where to take us.

When someone says everything is going to be ok a caterpillar eats
another leaf. Birds perched on bats wonder why the belts don't match
the shoes. On most days the weather refuses our kickbacks and bribes.

You can rhyme Mexico with go but it won't help the dictionary give us
what we need. A mom meant every word she said but she's lost the
urge to speak. No one understands why the word goodbye has fled
with such speed.

Andrew Cox is the author of The Equation That Explains Everything (BlazeVox), Fortune Cookies (2River) and Company X (Wordvirtual). He lives is University City, Missouri, where he edits The UCity Review. (contact)