Orpheus by Ryan Mahr-hale
Don’t look back she said on the wobbling log.
Stream an unstrung washing machine;
leaves traffic cops redirecting the light.
The forest was magic that day. There were surely
more people about than you, shyly envying
how your brutal extraction from the world
of organic geometries and green enabled
the hot rush of return. You pitied them,
the spirits of streams and trees, because
they were not you today. The log threatened failure
of the enterprise. You laughed. Looked back.
Two Aspiring Saints Interface in a CVS by Ryan Mahr-Hale
Her hands writhing, she says
“I can sound good but not be good”
as you fiddle with a mascara wand
in CVS under lying lights
instead of answering. She picks up
her can from the ground. “I’m going
to smoke a cigarette,” she says. You nod.
She paid for that Monster energy drink,
curlicued and carbonated. You slip
the mascara wand into your pocket.
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