Three Poems by Patrick Riedy

the rare instances i remember dreams

the rare instances i remember dreams
they are mostly about
standing in snowfall
with no shoes

so much more escaping my body than heat

you come running out
into the cold
not to help
but to watch the show

i plead
“please forgive the foolish things i said”

i like to think
that’s me at my best
believing in the authority of words

soon enough
flakes surround me
your hand appears
to make sure i’m still there

as long as i can
deep breaths
searching for a sign
that i’m alive

your fingers
warm enough to combat the cold
intertwine with mine

my subconscious is telling me
to enjoy the temporal
endlessness of dreams

especially ones in which

you are able to save me

disturbing inevitabilities

in as few words as possible
find yourself in a smile
passing the bend
excited to see truth
in the hue of lake blue

deep down
you were hoping to discover
a reason to stay in this town

holiday lights keep the navy boat afloat
electricity seems to point towards fantasy
look forward and see
how together
the two of you
could be lost in useless territory

trace both your hands instead
make maps from them
each finger
a different road
every nail
a chapel on the corner
of summer or best st.

if you put them out when it rains
dreams won’t drift away

sometimes we spend our entire lives gathering evidence and therefore forget what it is was we were searching for

being thorough detectives
we asked him to recall memories
and they taught us
that what we do
is far from what faddie
or he himself
would call living

we witnessed our father
return to work
after he raised the three of us

he kept meticulous records
of every skipped heartbeat

my brothers and i
made notes
of his labors
eight hours everyday
on his feet no less

for men like him
the ones who wanted
but were never able to go to war
mirrors offered more
than the usual marks

he experienced desperation
in a different
yet wholly similar way
than many of his
brothers and friends
over in vietnam did

deep down
we know that
we investigate
because we too want to live
on californian streets
alone and poor
if only to be closer
to understanding the necessity
of experiencing extremities

dad didn’t seem to mind
that faddie never found time
to settle at a permanent address

he understood what faddie was working for

our dad’s relationship with faddie was
one of unspoken recognition
there was no need to interrogate
or search for evidence
in their relationship

there was no mystery to solve

the story is different with us
i think it has something to do
with our generations need
to find immediate happiness in everything

in all of his memories
in the way he willingly displays his heart
i find the needed evidence
to understand

nothing more is required
than to believe in all he expects me to be

Profile: Patrick Riedy

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