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The 2River View 15.2 (Winter 2011)

Richard Schiffman


The rooftops are white, the sidewalks vanilla-frosted,
the slush-cup clouds, albino river, fresh-laundered bluffs,
water towers capped in woolen white fedoras, bolls of steam,
an opalescent sky, seagulls knifing whitely by the levitating bridge,
a corpse lain out on morning's gurney, the sun, a wan, white moon
of itself, and from the dough-dull air a squall of listless flakes flicks
crystal dust upon my greying cranium—within which a candle gutters:
I call it my mind. There is nothing in it but wraiths in bone-white ghost suits:
I call them my thoughts. I call them spooks and shades, white on white, invisible
but for two fire-engine eyes, but for two coruscating coals burning holes
through a spectral sheet of cerebration. I call this fire my life, I call it desire
scanning, scanning the snow for that one sole smudge of blood: I call it
God's blood. I call it the world, my love, my lover. Where has she gone?
Wherever has she gone?

Richard Schiffman has poems appearing or forthcoming in 32 Poems, Alaska Quarterly Review, North American Review, Poetry East, Southern Poetry Review, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. contact