POETRY
Building Materials
Rich Ives

Image by Jon Ottosson 

Image by Jon Ottosson 

Each year, a little more of my house
is eaten by grass.

The trees help
but spend more time trying
to get closer to the sun.

You never notice till after
the moment when the food’s all gone.

I thought a lot about going
before I went, but after that
I thought about eating.

I understand eating,
I devour eating,

and the grass eats and eats,
and the sun feeds me to what I
have been holding back

because eating is a reservation,
a holding of your place, and

after a while, outside the house,
other houses are forming
from sticks and twigs and hunger.

I don’t need the sun to see this,
but my house has been a big dead tree.

Come here, then.
Build me.
Many of us live in dead things. 


Rich Ives is a winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander and the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. Tunneling to the Moon, a book of days with a work for each day of the year, is available from Silenced Press, Sharpen, a fiction chapbook, is available form Newer York Press, Light from a Small Brown Bird, a book of poems, is available from Bitter Oleander Press, and his story collection, The Balloon Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking, is now available from What Books.