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Category: Jennifer Moxley

THIEVES

The soaked crow beside the road

has lost his definition. His smooth

bird outline and shiny blue-black

feathers—once used by poets

to describe the color of

their beloved’s hair—

are dulled and dripping. He seems

attired in unkempt fur, wooly.

Like a yak. His stick legs gingerly

step beneath him through a muddy

puddle. The surrounding neon grass

plays its role as the gatekeeper

of the busy college road, lying

obedient before the digital clock

in the yard of the national bank’s

prim and well-kept local branch.

from The Open SecretFind more by Jennifer Moxley at the library

Copyright © 2014 Jennifer Moxley
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

DIVIDEND OF THE SOCIAL OPT OUT

How lovely it is not to go. To suddenly take ill.

Not seriously ill, just a little under the weather.

To feel slightly peaked, indisposed. Plagued by

a vague ache, or a slight inexplicable chill.

Perhaps such pleasures are denied

to those who never feel obliged. If there are such.

How pleasant to convey your regrets. To feel sincerely

sorry, but secretly pleased to send them on their way

without you. To entrust your good wishes to others.

To spare the equivocal its inevitable rise.

How nice not to hope that something will happen,

but to lay on the couch with a book, hoping that

nothing will. To hear the wood creak and to think.

It is lovely to stay without wanting to leave.

How delicious not to care how you look,

clean and uncombed in the sheets. To sip

brisk mineral water, to take small bites

off crisp Saltines. To leave some on the plate.

To fear no repercussions. Nor dodge

the unkind person you bug.

Even the caretaker has gone to the party.

If you want something you will have to

get it yourself. The blue of the room seduces.

The cars of the occupied sound the wet road.

You indulge in a moment of sadness, make

a frown at the notion you won’t be missed.

This is what it is. You have opted to be

forgotten so that your thoughts might live.

from The Open SecretFind more by Jennifer Moxley at the library

Copyright © 2014 Jennifer Moxley
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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