Patterns of Simple States

by F. John Sharp

How does the goose, who
mates for life, know her man
is dead? when she cannot see the lump

 of mangled feathers in the ditch
across the road--did not see
the Toyota clip him near the center line.

 How long will she wait? pacing
the shoulder, plaintive honks muted by

 the line of cars hampering her search.

What will she do in ten minutes-- 

an hour--when the V passes over 

and she is impelled to fly? Who will
sit the nest when she is hungry? Stand
between the fox and the young? How

Mother Nature, do you ask something
to mate for life, when clearly, they have
no fucking idea what that means? I'm not talking

 about geese--they have it figured out.


One Thing That Happens on a Friday Night

by F. John Sharp

Ivan Yakovolper has proposed
to me nineteen times, hoping
quantity trumps quality. I said yes
only one of those times,
when he'd fallen asleep
on the couch after waiting
silently through two hours of TV
I had no interest in.
I wanted to hear how it sounded.

I suspect tonight will be
number twenty, after I cook him
pork roast and beets. I haven't decided
on an answer yet, though his odds
are not good. I don't think
I can respect a man
who can't take a solid hint.


About F. John Sharp

F. John Sharp lives and works in the Cleveland, Ohio area. His poetry and fiction have been widely published in both print and electronic form, and he is the fiction editor for Right Hand Pointing. He can be found at