The 2River View 25.1 (Fall 2020)

Andrew Cox

The Hill Inside of Me

Is patrolled by barred owls     Is pinned down by the geometry of trees

The sun setting behind it so that my father can stand on top like a giant

Is steep as to contain the outset     Is inhabited by what crawls on the floor

The peak and the man who straddles it stare at me with night-vision eyes

Is the embodiment of owl calls    Is filled with bandit raccoons

The deer come and kneel down as if in effigy to the holes in my father’s head

Is the manifestation of eeriness because there is no going back     Is the owl’s eye

The coyotes gather to yip and howl as he descends the other side and disappears

At Night the Crickets

At night the crickets come to my window and tell me that I am not allowed to forget

To tell me my father chirps with them each night and his is the singular chirp

At night the crickets sing to me their collective despair at dying in the fish’s mouth

To tell me my mother stays in the back and watches for the cricket who needs her help

At night the crickets speak of toads snakes insect-eating birds and the ensuing carnage

To tell me that my oldest sister will not pay heed to the rubbing together of legs

At night the crickets come to remind me that many of their kind have died at my hand

To tell me that the soliloquy inside me is a song absent in winter’s short days

Andrew Cox is the author of The Equation That Explains Everything and the 2River chapbooks, This False Compare and Fortune Cookies. He edits UCity Review.

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