Eastern Pennsylvania
by Eric Reymond

    As we leave New York City
    the lights are dividing themselves into
    those that climb into the sky
    and those that slink along the ground.
    Billboards footnote the landscape
    of churning weeds-
    black-toothed trees,
    the forest's pitch-belly
    that recalls that ring of souls
    who turned against themselves
    so that "Alive with Pleasure"
    seems all the more ironic,
    illustrating the happy life
    of escape and destruction,
    until we are almost duped again
    into believing its better to die
    watching TV
    than to fade into the dark.
    For, so the argument runs,
    since we are perpetually at risk
    of our soul spilling out of us
    shouldn't we toast every breath?
    (I would agree only with the last.)
    As the chain of headlights
    reflect off guard-rails
    into the arms of thorns and bramble
    we are forced to rework memories
    into something we do not want
    and to wonder if each light of earth
    really has its inverse in heaven,
    if they are perfect vessels,
    as Cunizza said, and truly
    content in their spheres
    or only dead points flashing
    in a curtain of felt?

Copyright 2024 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.