yes and no

ever heard salt dry
in a woman's eyelashes
or a cat purr under
a dead man's bed
the genius of this and that
accounts for little when all
is said and done
sometimes everything
rhymes with yes and no
when you’re alone


my back's
leaking like a barn
cholera has taken
my daughter’s life
the photo in the glass
was my father

everywhere i look
there are unsettled arguments
rain over unroofed jail cells
her slowly baked eyes

and september is more
than three months away


Copyright © 2005 Michael Riley

Michael Riley's poems have appeared or are set to appear in Niederngasse, Sidereality, Stylus Poetry Journal, Going Down Swinging, Pendulum, The Rose & Thorn, Lily, LiNQ, Muse Apprentice Guild, Liquid Muse, Tryst, Ink Mag, Social Alternatives, Mind Caviar and many other fine publications. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.