The 2River View 28.1 (Fall 2023)

Michael Manerowski

Fresh Cherries

For far too long I had forgotten
about cherries
but then in the stale summer heat
there were fresh cherries
with their bitter stems
and the stone hard pits
elbowing around
inside my mouth

but the sweet
wine blood
of fresh cherries dripping
over my lips

and I remembered how easy
it is to forget joy
pleasure charm

when one goes without
for too long

When Galloping Horses Fly

No matter how many upward ramps I tried to build
by the end of the day no horse galloped
up and out from my apartment window
the news hadn’t changed
since yesterday
and still the atmosphere breathes
with sooty lungs

and the only evidence of a day’s work
is a small pile of summer cherry pits
bronze and wine red
and the plucked stems once curved green
now curling wire thin and drying
quickly blackening at their tips
like translucent brown raven claws

all casually piled on a small dish bright
with a green painted rooster eagerly crooning
to the presumed morning light
of a new sun

but what does a painted rooster know
about the end of the day
about the current climate
about lifespans

and in the unchanging news and the breathing of ash
before the cherry remnants
and the raven claws

I can honestly say to the Lord
I have tried and failed most often
and maybe once or twice
have helped galloping horses fly
which didn’t change the course
or tendencies of the world
very much

and I think Christ
from experience
would understand

Michael Manerowski’s poems can be found in The Alembic, Briar Cliff Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, I-70 Review, Laurel Review, and San Diego College City Works Journal.
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