free web
Two Poems by Paige Riehl | Word Riot

February 15, 2011      

Two Poems by Paige Riehl


Listen to a podcast of Paige Riehl’s “Eggs.”

Represent forced abstinence.
Not that this is problematic for chickens
(but who can know for sure?).
Eggs are white albumen, golden vitellus,
sun-like orbs of possibility
suspended. I can smell their buttery sex.

Scholastic Book Orders

Listen to a podcast of Paige Riehl’s “Scholastic Book Orders.”

Choose two only
two we can
afford. Two
from so many
other worlds,
alternate endings.

Pour over the short
descriptions, titles,
miniature book cover pictures.
Highlight and circle
erase and re-circle.
Get up at midnight.
Re-think the two. Ask

which your friends
will get. Three or
four? Rich kids.
Hold the book
order form as
if it were
the future. Hope
you’ve chosen
the best two.

Watch your mother
write the check
slowly, calculating the
balance, shaking
her head.

Feel guilt about
books. Check the mail.
Wait more.
Offer to give up
Coke on taco night
for one more

             Hold new books
             like glossy newborns.
             Smell them.
             Read with hunger
             every word. Two
             times. But not
             like an animal.
             Animals rip
             pages, break
             spines. Read
             by flashlight
             chew words. Sleep
             exhausted. Read
             again, read again

Paige Riehl

About the author:

Paige Riehl is a college literature and writing teacher, a writer, a mother, and a traveler. Originally from South Dakota, she now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her prose and poetry have been published in many print and online publications, most recently Blood Orange Review, Avatar Review, and Emprise Review. She’s currently working on an MFA in Creative Writing.

    1 comment to Two Poems by Paige Riehl

    • Dresden

      Book order forms! What great source material! The layouts of those are so memorable. You’ve captured it.

    Leave a Reply

    You can use these HTML tags

    <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




    Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.