Some Relationships Contain Qualifications
by Rich Ives

you’re discussing Kierkegaard in the mud
with a chunk of existential wood
that seems to believe your life could be
much taller than it appears to be

the mud is warm and makes you lazy

––if there was a type of innocence the other children
would have nothing to do with

the storage facility seemed to be underground
but I suppose that could have been a hole

––if there had been a lid
you might have kept it on tight

––if you needed to smuggle any particular family of prior indulgences
into the continuing unfortunate event

––if you could imagine the frontier
––if you might actually get there

––if some of these things contradicted some of these things
but others were already entwined and groping

our excitement was reasonable
which made it less exciting

––if I have to say it again I will
with a friendly scorched odor of excess welcome

damp philosophy doesn’t seem to restrain cognitive excess
but I’m not assuming you were able to resolve your differences

my attitude is not superior to my attention
which is not superior to my imagination
nor do I believe it is only mine

but I felt like you were negotiating your testimony
from a position of indecision even though
I couldn’t figure out what you hadn’t decided

it’s the one hesitation we still claim

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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