Where new writing finds its voice

No Pity

Sam Riviere

She has ordered quail, and probes the shreds of rich meat
from between the nest of bones
until the meal becomes two heaps.

Don’t believe you’re not dissolving
with the blue light of her bedroom
in a good clean smell of steam,

but maybe you could keep the prod of her hips, 
the broken sound her bed makes,
the dark marks of her nipples through her top?

When does it stop being quail?
It’s hopeless, but at some point there’s less
than any one word says. By such patient extractions 

even this is cleaned of meaning. 
Sun licks mist from the windows,
the restaurant is as bright and tedious

as heaven. You have been reading 
how the blessed feel no pity for the damned,
who anyway desire their punishment.