Andrew Riutta

                                                               With the same kind of gun
                                                               he used in Vietnam
                                                               my father
                                                               shoots the burn barrel
                                                               so the fire can breathe.

                                                               Another pretty girl
                                                               flaunting her metaphysics.
                                                               If I had an aura,
                                                               it would be the color
                                                               of rust on a horseshoe.

                                                               On the wood paneling,
                                                               the shadow of my lantern
                                                               looks like a bell.
                                                               I got drunk last night
                                                               and tried to ring it.

                                                               one acre of weeds---
                                                               an ex-wife
                                                               for a landlord
                                                               a tea kettle
                                                               for my ashtray
                                                               it's what he would've done
                                                               for me
                                                               I light the cigarette
                                                               someone left on his grave.

                                                               It runs in my family,
                                                               diabetes . . .
                                                               but so does this love
                                                               for the gravel roads
                                                               that take us far from everything.
                                                               Peeking into
                                                               this wormhole in my apple,
                                                               I see a poet
                                                               thirty years from now
                                                               still dressed like a plumber.
                                                               Who cares if my belly
                                                               hangs below my belt?
                                                               At eighty-two
                                                               my grandfather weighed little more
                                                               than a bag of potting soil.


     "With the same kind of gun" The Pie in Pieces (River Man, 2006)
          Cigarette Butts and Lilacs (MET Press, 2008)
     "Another pretty girl" Cigarette Butts and Lilacs (MET Press, 2008)
     "On the wood paneling" Previously unpublished
     "one acre of weeds" Previously unpublished
     "It runs in my family," Cigarette Butts and Lilacs (MET Press, 2008)
     "Peeking into" Simply Haiku, Autumn, 2005
     "Who cares if my belly" Cigarette Butts and Lilacs (MET Press, 2008)

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