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The Irreversible Revenge of a River | A Poem by James Diaz

I’ve lived a life that has been hard to swallow

I have been sentimental with my fierceness
laughed when I should have bitten down hard
come away with meat and fire in my eyes
tell me things will get better
in a therapy voice tinged with a sound that translates
“I can say this because I’m not in your life the same way
that you are”
silver birch brocade of Alberta
or pond scum and the hot sun
rippled in its core
the absent body of your ten year old self
from rooms filled with mother-shadow

how unlike forgiveness
the final moment
underfoot & primed
crippling Delaware storefronts
with no face you’d recognize

there is no kindness in your cup
and you are completely
soul crushingly
alone in this room
of waning withheld light

night will not hold you

each cell in you buckles
totally unaware

rigged against you

thirsty eyed

a thousand
trampling feet

the revenge
a river.

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