Spring 2016

And She Gets That Look Like She Forgets She Wears Glasses

Rich Ives

I saw one of Eric’s shoes galloping into the sunset. Not like that. The moon slivered in a bone-cage. Like that, but not like that. Familiar, but not like anything so poetic you’d tell me about it. 

I want to say something gentle now. I might attempt to harvest the delicate water content, which is not all water but doesn’t remind you of that. I might want to stroke the blue light its fur makes sparking against the sides of the tunnel. I might ask you for my questions back and embrace them. Interrogation by desire. It confuses leaf with foot, and meets all the lips in time for the emergence of perception, linking one thing pleasurably with another and another until I’m pouring out and landing in the other world, where my eyes are. Now I’ve left my sense for my senses although I know I still could reason my way into explaining what I’m happy to say I don’t really understand.

About the air she is happy, my accomplishment, but still leaking. I admire this, so I scream, pushing the comforting air about and getting excited that I know I’m doing this. I’m doing this, and it surprises me that I sound like I’m directing air through a small vibrating skin flap. 

Of course, Eric wants the whole story, and an explanation, and all the names, even if there’s only one. Just knowing he wants this removes the thing itself from the experience, which I describe in a way that cheapens it enough to keep it from imitating what it really is. So it changes. 

Eric, of course, knows all this and doesn’t care. Eric’s girlfriend cares, but she’s not in the story, and by the time he tells her, it will be her story. She will take from it what they need, which has been told to them as a different story, the one she can’t see galloping into the sunset.


Rich Ives lives on Camano Island in Puget Sound. He has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Dublin Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily and many more. He is a winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander and has been nominated twice for the Best of the Web, three times for Best of the Net and six times for The Pushcart Prize. He is the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. Tunneling to the Moon, a book of days with a work for each day of the year, is available from Silenced Press, Sharpen, a fiction chapbook, is available form Newer York Press, and Light from a Small Brown Bird, a book of poems, is available from Bitter Oleander Press. He is also the winner of the What Books Press Fiction Competition, and his story collection, The Balloon Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking, is now available.