The End of the Questionable Affair

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Contributor: Rich Ives

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don’t hug the angry lover
until she’s done biting herself

when the guests are like family
let them act as they wish but remind them
they don’t have to be themselves

had an accident and now
I’m afraid to do anything on purpose

you’re never prepared for your own axe

don’t give your extra dollar to the broken man
or to the rich man but to the man with only one
he knows what it’s worth

the worst exile is not across the sea
but inside you where the government has no pardon

one side of the dust is on the other side

do exactly what they want and you’ll be fine
but they will go looking for surprises

do you think that after she’s finished doing nothing
there might still be enough left for you

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Rich Ives is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander and the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. His book of days, Tunneling to the Moon, is currently being serialized with a work per day appearing for all of 2013 at Tunneling to the Moon and Light from a Small Brown Bird (poetry, Bitter Oleander Press) are both due out in paperback in 2014.


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