Literary Orphans

Night Is A Lonesome Animal by John Riley

So long dead brother

life jelly on your tongue

upside down me walks away

shoes tied to my hands

no blood rushing to my head

I was a fool no

the dog of a fool

to live a trapper’s life

drinking in caverns

behind stone doors

time my only bouncer

it took the lightless

lament of the loon

to convince me as I wept

I was never the only fool

seldom do we see the bones

dry as hell’s worn gate

or let the sound of the bones

collapsing ignite us

so long I thought I could

hoist the world

and did not know

the world is where

a few are set free

and the rest straggle

lips violet as irises

a sun-lusting careen of ficus

rifling them to a home

behind a distant ridge

O Typekey Divider

John Riley has published poetry and fiction in Smokelong Quarterly, Connotation Press, Fiction Daily, Dead Mule, St. Anne’s Review, Better Than Starbucks, and numerous other anthologies and journals. He lives in Greensboro, NC, where he works in educational publishing.

O Typekey Divider

–Art by Marcos Lomba