The 2River View 25.4 (Summer 2021)

Sally Van Doren


as if there were people living in
            my house who knew my name

as if the gamble paid off

as if the phlegm dislodged itself
            from the ceiling

as if I could breathe in this

as if my mind was connected
            to my throat

as if the page was long enough
            to advertise my worth

I will pay you whatever
            you want for it

as if the gimmick you use to attract
            suitors will survive you

as if all of us are terrorists seeking
            to usurp the status quo

as if ginger could calm a rioting

as if you swindled me out of my fortune
            without my knowing it

as if he bought her then sold her

as if the sound of her voice filled
            every inch of the house

as if I knew how to value art

you will tell me when it costs
            too much

Tantric Tinder

I discarded the plasma
glaze covering my head.
The dump would not accept

it in its tainted condition.
I conjured my third chakra
to remove the bias against

personal protective equipment.
We’re at war with a slippery
cipher. There’s no traction

on the ground so I take to the sky.
Airborne, I can see more clearly
what’s going on through the haze.

The friction between staying
put and parting ways heats up
the cage we have come to call

home. There’s a candle inside
us and it sets our veins aflame.

Sally Van Doren is an American poet and artist. She has published three collections of poetry, the first of which won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her fourth book, Sibilant, is forthcoming from LSU Press. website

 << Diane Thiel   Ted Kooser >>
Copyright 2River. Please do not use or reproduce without permission.