The 2River View 17.4 (Summer 2013)

Suzanne Parker


The red fox keeps killing
the neighbor's chickens
for the thrill of it,
for bone snap and heat
+ stain + greed + warm
blood flooding the mouth,
for snarl+ legs+ the cornered
shiver of white feathers
in a viscous breeze,
for the low belly, tail high,
that red declaration
aflame in the field
+ fast, fast before its
even dragged the last meat
off the bone it is looking
at the few hens scratching
in the rafters, as if
heat could be cloaked
by dark as if their cries
weren't already his,
as if desire could be salved
with one small meal. 

Mulberry Picking

I don't think the orioles know their own splendor.
I don't think the mulberry tree knows it shivers as it holds them.
I don't think the berries' juice can slake any thirst as large as this
yet I march out each morning, colander in hand and beneath 
the outrage of the crows pick what is difficult, sweet, what stains
under the nails and seeps into the tracks we all carry in our skin;
like a river, my greed flows purple, fast, and thunders
throughout the day, marking me, for all to see.

Suzanne Parker is an editor at MEAD: A Magazine of Literature and Libations. Viral, winner of the Kinereth Gensler Book Award, is forthcoming from Alice James Books in September 2013. contact