The 2River View 20.3 (Spring 2016)

Edward Nudelman

Red Tide

The golden bowl is almost broken,
though it still supports a fine hat.
Mom slips slowly and surely out to sea,
lost memory’s red tide obliterating
any beachhead we make. So be it,
said the prophet at his desk;
and so be it, refrained her sons
and daughters in their eagerness
against the rising stream of decline.
Tonight, she eats her French fries
like her Epicurean self, chomping
them to a leftover tip, forming a pile
on her plate―in the manner
of eating prawns, we all suppose.

Utilitarianism Made Simple

She immerses herself in the ritual
sacrifice of fruit flies, infinitesimally
insignificant as dust motes, whose loss
she claims earns no compunction
compared to appeasing the cleanliness gods.
Guilt diminishes in the taking of dirt
particles, she reminds me, laying waste
to winged apparitions without souls.
Slyly she circumnavigates the kitchen
employing various deceptions―open palms,
crouching and leaning, baiting and bagging,
but her greatest claim to fame is in the suds,
a dark stout or one of Seattle’s deep and spicy
microbrews, tendered in a narrow cup
capped with pin-pricked cellophane.
O kind duplicity, grant me such sweet demise.

Edward Nudelman is the author of Night Fires (Pudding House 2009), What Looks Like an Elephant  (Lummox 2011), and Out of Time, Running (Harbor Mountain 2014). Poems have recently appeared in Chiron, Cortland Review, and Rattle. contact

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