The 2River View 26.4 (Summer 2022)

Kevin Miller

If Merenda Were Here

Cold rain and enough dark
to shade the ravens hunkering
down for the long haul.

Run off suggests an out,
questions our stubborn
resilience to flight. The fires

stay fixed in thoughts south,
fixed in the sticky memory
of June’s heat bomb, foreign

countries like Texas and Florida
remake language, no one will
utter climate change, which solves

problems the way white sheets
and hoods eliminate the faces
we know have not changed.

I love the way Merenda says,
Fer fuck’s sake, when he meets
ignorance and the brazen way

some wear it like a tattoo.
Any weather worth grieving
comes with its lesson, justice

may not take the bully on time.
Patience is no guarantee kindness
will follow, forgiving haters

is beyond plenary indulgence,
absolute vengeance has no ties
to absolution, breathe and breathe.

Nothing Divided by Six

In the end I promise to keep
secret the shamrock-behind-
the-blackfish tattoo, my killer
the color of the perfect pint.
When they lay me out, let the six
of them gather to tell stories
of lost tempers and dogs, lessons
in the Y pool, fat white guy
with the other mothers, mad-
driving vocabulary lessons,
terrors of the drive-through,
the old one in Carhatt’s and Crocs
lowering the fashion bar, and
those postcards, so many
postcards for a man whose world
tour was the grocery, the post
office, the library, and home.

Kevin Miller won the Wandering Aengus Press Publication Award in 2019 for Vanish, his fourth collection. Concrete Wolf Press will publish his chapbook Spring Meditation in 2022.

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