Lost on the River

Lost on the River


Hudson, Han, Seine, Mississippi—
river, where are you taking me?

A deep scar on the neck of night.
A barefoot bubble wisped across the sidewalk
imprisoning a prism of dreams.

You carried your pen into a lucid dream
to return with “bloodsucking peach.”
You carried your dream into the world                         
and chipped your teeth on metal gears.

Another blank page
destroyed with ink.
Another blank check cashed for a quarter.
Another passionless kiss
under the sheets of translucent tides—
bodies, caught in the white wings of waves,
afraid of sky!

Each day a crystal pyramid
and a baguette, turnpike
and Italian sub, chamchi
kimbab, kimchi, coconut
curry, Muay Thai, pad thai,
ocean, smoked salmon,
cream cheese, rainstorm,
Po’ Boy, streetcar, swamp,
Purple Haze, desert dust,
each day…
board another plane,

another bus…
make your bed in a new home,

Dissolve the pools under your eyelids or surely you will drown.
Trim your future’s fingernails that they don’t scar your skin with bloody expectations.
Douse your past in gas and light a match.


Beads worn silver and green hang from ancient oaks like lizards’ tails.
Sand blown in from Mongolia’s desert covers windows in yellow dust.
Lovers’ locks, rusted and forgotten, break and fall into the teal,
and the player belts her monologue to no one because no one is the only one listening—

How many dollars do you weigh?
Euros? Pesos? Won? Bitcoins?

Pigeons congregate in the plaza
pecking at dried orange-peel
cigarette butts scattered
on the spit-stained sidewalk—

Stock options? Time shares?
Plans for retirement?

The water is drowning something.
Something is dying and being reborn.
Keep walking, keep floating.
Pack another bag and try again.

Climb the museum steps
while clouds sag overhead like bags of dust,
and take a second look.



Alone on the river, silence is floating.
Alone on the river, she is awake.

You have fallen asleep on the edge
of a bottle of beer and dream
her lips.

They speak through rings
of jasmine smoke:

Come to me.
Come to me.

You have fallen asleep on the edge
of a bottle of rum and dream
her eyes.

They speak through
museum hallucinations:

Marble frog. Jade falcon
floating in Dalí’s blue.
Papyrus skin, wild-
raspberry. Crystal
tongue, fingers tall
as death.


Throw orange away.
Rediscover red.
Everyone in a hurry.
Everyone wanting.
And you want.
You want with lightning-
like passion.
Fury. Madness. Joy.
A tear in the throat,
a marble in a straw,
a hen in the belly
of a snake.

It’s all drowning in a pool,
so let it drown.

Yesterday opens
the door.

The moment is sly
and slippery.

Tomorrow walks
by in red rain boots, forever.

Stop spilling your coffee
trying to look at her ass.

Pack life in a bag
and give the bag away.

Stir, breathe,
buy the moon a drink.


Blue raindrops gush from the scar on the neck of night.
The barefoot bubble bursts on a blade of grass.

As you recollect, a bottle breaks itself
on the cobblestone street.

Hudson, Han, Seine, Mississippi—
river, where are you taking me?

Nathaniel Kostar was born in raised in New Jersey. He holds a BA from Rutgers University and an MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans. He currently lives in Mexico City where he works as a writer, lyricist and occasional English teacher. For more work by the author visit NateLost.com.

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