The 2River View 28.1 (Fall 2023)

Caroline Randall

the want in my throat, an evening primrose, blossoms
then begs for sunlight

i pour coffee into agave and place it on my altar. 
steam rising from my finest teacup, the remnants of his cologne, 
loosen my grip on this morning, this moment bright and cool. 

i think of the dream of tío pepe, how i told my lover i met him. 
i think of tío’s yellow-collared shirt, his greyish hair, the resemblance to his father.

i wanted to tell my lover that the dead are never far from me, that some of my dead
are still alive, like him, still here, yet already gone
but i want to be remembered, to be placed upon your altar of here, yet not, but nothing belongs to us, even the day gets away from me and every song has become a good song to die to. i don’t tell him this. i tell no one. i wait in darkness for a love never arriving, for the want in my throat to blister into sunlight.

year of the knife

for Nick

when i awoke, drunk with dream, i searched for you 
inside this mausoleum. and the curse lies
not in dreaming, dead cousin, but in wanting.

revenge never fills like it should 
and i resent the rage 
i can’t display,

the time i can’t reverse,
that year of the knife,
your exit.

the flowers still bud and bloom,
of course, why wouldn’t they?

why would the world stop and feel your absence,

that emptiness that keeps me silent and dreaming?

Caroline Randall is a writer from Louisville, Kentucky. She holds an MFA from California College of the Arts. Her work can be found in The Bluebird Word.
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