Dire Vice

by F. Daniel Rzicznek

I walked a circle back to my front door

Knowing what animals know of death

A few hawks resting there rose off

I put the glass down, over the spirits

The best of them swam to the point

It’s what unspools out of me all day

A few more dogs down in the surf

A list of wounds multiplied by regrets

And the want to think without thought

I darken the room, count the patterns

What it amounts to is four meals a day

I am the near-stillness of the pilot light

His aluminum shoes, his light blue jacket

I grew his hair and wore his clothes

Became the uproar at the omelet station

Something about it slippery, secretive

Or whole, or parted and then made whole

A weapon that eats and eats and eats

Everything on the table, everything kind

F. Daniel Rzicznek‘s books of poetry are Settlers (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press) and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press), and he is coeditor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press). His poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, West Branch, Blackbird, Colorado Review, and Notre Dame Review. He currently teaches and directs the Creative Writing program at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

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