Rick Bursky



But First


My thoughts are as impure as yours.

And it would no longer be difficult 

to memorize each others’ every virtue. 

My bones have not always been made of straw.

Each day is a slice of bread and we’re free

to argue the significance of butter 

and other temptations.

But first, we have decisions to make.

If you dance with me.

If we agree to fall down a flight of stairs together.

If we wore each others’ underwear for the entire day.

When I heard you say

“we can do better” I wasn’t sure

if it was a question or statement.

Is tomorrow your turn to blacken my eye?

In my next life I promise to be 

something similar to a river.

We have one more chance to make cherry pits 

our favorite form of currency again,

one more chance to prove 

you can enjoy anything if you imagine 

the right music playing in your head.


“I’m No Longer Trouble By The Extravagance,” BOA Editions, 2015

Laurel Review, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville MO, Vo1. 46, Issue 2.