The 2River View 27.3 (Spring 2023)

Stan Sanvel Rubin

Let This Be Another Lesson

So after the random breeding
of disasters we should
have seen it coming,

the piling into the sky
of dark clouds
like the Devil’s pillars,

our remainder gathered
at the shore
of the charcoal sea

drained of life
except the empty shells
where life was,

the seasons changed
and everything
become something else

as if time has
many names and there are
as many times as names

and this was the one
we wanted to avoid
without knowing how.

We fell asleep
within a dream
to wake to this

The Ancestors

Toothless, eyeless,
they arise around my bed

like so many vampires who
would suck your blood

if they had any use for blood
in those skulls

but they know
you don’t either.

This is the bond
between us,

the fragile purposeless living
and the nameless ones

whose persistence
is worse than death,

who come every night
to remind us.

Stan Sanvel Rubin’s poems have been in Agni, Georgia Review, and Poetry Northwest. Four full-length collections include There. Here. (Lost Horse Press) and Hidden Sequel (Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize). He lives on the north Olympic Peninsula of Washington.

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