collection of poems on the nature of desire, family, history, and autobiography, SUITOR is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in Fall 2020.


Jacob Rivkin, “Cabin Painting”


From Suitor

Suitor’s Dream

I say you and mean our life together
will be a picturesque postcard

from the Cape of Good Cheer,
the Cape of Wonder.

Other days it will be a typhoon,
warm waters gathered into storm.

I am divided
and unsure in so many things

except this:
the end of every suitor is rest.

To touch the hem of your dress
or the seam of your suit

and leave it. The body waits.
We have the serious business

of living: unpack the boxes
of books and unroll newspaper

from glasses, fill the cabinets
with bowls and measuring cups.

We invite our friends.
Join us. We’ve made a place at our table,

the table we bought at the flea market
and carried five blocks home.

I set it with your plates
and my silverware.


– first appeared in Quarterly West: 94