It Was a Monday So Everyone Seemed to Be Starting Something New


We did not notice the beggar. Nor did we think of women as fruit, though we often
wished that we ourselves were not so ripe.
Yes, we live on a challenged planet and we cannot attend a banquet without
considering starvation. Sex reminds us of the voices falling into the river beneath our feet
on the nights when it’s too warm to stay inside.
Still it was possible to imagine the brother we didn’t have looking at us in stunned
surrender, as he had done for most of his life. We were inventing ambiguously symbolic
dilemmas because we needed them. As in, “My mother was opening tomato sauce and
she cut her finger.”
“What kind of body, then, is this earth?” you might ask. As if the slick green
leather of the jungle you’re lost in were nothing more than a small growth on one’s
forehead. And what to make of the sky so heavy and close that smoke from the chimneys
tries to crawl back into the houses?
We don’t have to know where we are to be in the wrong place. We’re ready to
blame someone now. We’ve got piety stamped on our tidy little brains. We don’t blame
the opposite gender and we don’t blame anyone who’s not like us and we don’t blame
anyone whose religious beliefs include gophers. You can see by our facial expressions
that we’re more than right.
The beggar’s crying, his cap stolen, painted the egg-yolk yellow of a Spanish
tavern. The beggar stares at the back of his father’s head. Smelling it from a barely
discernible distance. As if the kind of odor you get from sleeping in old cemeteries allows
the imagination to release the careful, realistic kind of absence that still awaits us. We
don’t exactly beg for it anymore, but a studied yearning still complicates our ignorance.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.