07 December 2014

from Shannon Rose Riley

Here’s how it is, old crow man.
You float high above me.
There are some things I know about you now, so listen.

Each from Illinois,
we both played accordion (or did I make that up?)…
You read your first poem the year I was born;
your first novel was Shannon, Who was Lost Before.
But now I’m found.

And I found you in Georgetown, Jim.
Endless conversation around kitchen tables,
moss fern cold stone photographs.

When we saw each other, we would cry.
Talk while laughing, tears in our eyes.
Intensely holding each other there:
a shared custody of luminous liquid light.

We made appropriate ritual, friend,
and today, in your honor, my voice cried out;
I know you heard it.

Thank you coyote, old crow man.
You know the way home--
just fly one time over my head before you go.

Shannon Rose Riley
For James Koller, December 6, 2014, Chicago

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