Two Poems by Patrick Riedy

i wonder if with love would be at the bottom of every letter

we empty the box
the pattern of migrating birds across the living room floor
we never worry
about cleaning up
i believe it best
for the both of us
if we leave it all
and instead
sit on the floor
searching for
missing puzzle pieces
that hide beneath
sofa seats
or closet doors
when you leave
to go home
i call your phone
but it’s never you
just and over-rehearsed
‘i’m not her so
leave a message after
the beep bye’
it’s too early for sunsets
and this town is full
of empty rooms
the snow will start
always overnight
i’ll miss the early morning
pretty snow
the last rites offered
by a murder of crows
instead i’ll awake
to see slush spillover
from the city streets
everything silent
will die
i could very well
be stuck inside
searching for speech
the sort of conversation
that one time
kept people alive
it’s always harder
to make out clouds at night
you can’t tell where one starts
from where it stops
until they move through the moonlight

paper forget-me-nots

today i filled the truck up with junk
metal scraps broken ladders various things i was holding onto
i needed the easy cash but mostly was trying to keep busy
no matter how much i try to hide my heart
there are parts of it that make their way to the forefront
the half sleeve of my favorite tee is not large enough
to pin paper forget-me-nots
in addition to my oversized purpleblack heart

tonight i am awake in the moonlight
searching for a better word to describe what separates a human
soul is too imposing and heart is too reckless
and technically the brain runs the functions of everything
but i don’t want to believe humans are simply computers
in the silver moon aligned with renegade cats
clutter keeps these thoughts alive a little longer
a grand conspiracy since none of them are small

the saddest sound you will ever hear
is not a single violin with a faint upright bass in the background
instead it is usually silence or possibly
her voice bigger than black smoke billow
i made the mistake of believing in anything you said
you left out the drums and i forgot to remind my heart to start

i can tell you how long the conductor blows the whistle
since i forced myself to remember the train schedule
i’ve learned so much but i’m too tired to count how many times i left out i love you
the days are getting shorter now
and i don’t want to be cold alone
the ice will arrive soon killing everything not strong enough

buffalo please don’t forget me
i am not ready to die
i will sleep with you if you need me to
i can stay for breakfast but i must leave before noon

Profile: Patrick Riedy

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