Afternoon: Occupation of the Living 

by Ryley T. O’Brien


I watch your eyes like marbles in a bowl. 

Skate tracks on an ice-pond: Inky kiss 

of fresh paper. Your hands 


Click pens, 

Hold chins, 

tear pages. 


Your eyes, fallen plums, 

Seek canvases to ripen on; 

They land instead on nothing. 


As the ice of your iris chills, 

I fear it is lost in my vacuum. 

White wind slams the shutters. 


Your empty fruit bowl falls on wooden skin. 

I remember how the sun warms floorboards. I, too,

Wasted my days with cheekbones pressed against them.

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