Poem Set in the Day and in the Night

The Iowa Review - - NEWS - Max ritvo

Just do things that are mean­ing­ful to you. Go to the beach, says the doc­tor.

The man lies on his stom­ach. The sand is fine, chewed through by the waves many times over.

The sun is wide, like an eye cut open, and it blasts the man so that his whole shadow scut­tles be­neath his belly.

The shadow grows dense and the man sweats him­self thin.

The man be­comes a web and his shadow be­comes a spi­der.

It’s not that his life passes to the shadow— but a tip­ping hap­pens as in an hour­glass,

and there’s sud­denly a new or­der to the life he never knew was shared.

That night a cricket kills him­self in the man.

It’s un­bear­able, his silk body thrilled through with the screams. All the man is: a speaker—

and not loud enough to com­mu­ni­cate the fear to God.

Enough, how­ever, to bring the spi­der. Who brings a kind of re­lief.

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