Will Reger


The rain fell from my eyes.
I wept and sirens blew
in the grey light of my weeping.
The Embaras, Boneyard, and the Phinney
all jumped their banks
with frightening and unaccustomed agility.

The rain fell from my eyes
wherever I looked, and the waters gathered.
Nothing can ever be too much
for them that believe, my mother called
from the bright orange rescue boat
that carried her to higher ground.
The streets grew into rivers and washed
the houses away of the great and the small.

The rain fell from my eyes
and the trees swayed like grasses in the flood.
You never know the higher purpose, my mother
whispered in water up to her chest.
Try to find the good that comes of all this, as she went under.
I missed her outstretched fingers and wept,
opening my eyes wide on the world
until it was gone.


This Afternoon

To flense the afternoon
the sun must get its fiery knife
right down under
the skin of the day,
down past Orion’s hair,
down into the rind,
the curve that stretches
into the dream,

and then begin the cut,
carefully rolling the fat of hours,
the rocks and rills,
and all that human detritus:

all of Kennedy’s girls,
Rasputin’s cock kept in a jar,
the metal nose of Tycho Brahe
and Van Gogh’s ear,
the silence at Hiroshima,
Mata Hari’s rounded belly,
the mind of God,
and the fig leaf
Adam wore.

If all of that gets peeled away
this afternoon,
the sun will butcher the world.


Will Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri area.  He has been writing poetry since the 7th grade, has published both in print and on-line, most recently with Front Porch Review, Chiron Review, VerseWrights.com, and the Paterson Literary Review He is a founding member of the CU (Champaign-Urbana) Poetry Group (cupoetry.com), has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, teaches at Illinois State University in Normal, and lives in Champaign with his wife, Mary.  He can be found at https://twitter.com/wmreger.

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