Steven Riel

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Scrunch on your back under branches
to plunder the out-of-reach pulp.

Succumb to the pull of plump clusters,
their underslung, dusky abundance.

Then:  blush as you dream lips
brushed by a lush mustache.

When a fuzzy leaf nuzzles against your cheek,
you’re a gurgling tot, a suckling glutton.  O,

how to slurp up all this beckoning &
not get stuck, a drunk beneath a thorn bush?

“Blackberrying” from Fellow Odd Fellow (Trio House Press, 2014). Reprinted by permission of the author.

Steven Riel is the author of one full-length book of poems, Fellow Odd Fellow (Trio House), as well as three chapbooks, with the most recent being published by Seven Kitchens Press as runner-up for the inaugural Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. His poems have appeared in several anthologies and numerous periodicals. He is the editor-in-chief of Résonance, an online Franco-American literary journal.

On Why Poetry Matters: “Poetry allows for the communication of content that cannot be adequately conveyed in prose.”