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  • Route 7 Review

Riley Mayes—after hope

after hope

inspired by paris: a poem


there is no lily of the valley

there is only one trash bag


lifting its wings


aimlessly down the canal


adrift in air seethed in midday smog;


the boats, the cyclists, and here

the eternal man sleeping while the rain

comes expectedly down --

ptkoheia smiling her stoop upon his

moon-sunk eyes, his demurring hood

in the moments before we step above


the broken bridge to retrieve the


vapes, the banter, the yearning of children

to shriek as they cross the street under the


(poor collapse of the sky. your face is waste. our goddess is a mountain and)


each night we run our hands over what is

it exactly we are searchsearchsearching for and


I am beside. myself an engineer in this


lurid design, footprint fossils spitting


carbon the way the thin man in a jogging


suit hacks his cud onto the pavement, stains

like a ghost.



Riley Mayes


Riley Mayes is a full-time student and writer from Portland, Maine. Mayes is interested in explorations of nature and hyperlocal geography in their studies and writing. Mayes' work has been featured in several publications, including Prose Online, BUST Magazine, Garfield Lake Review, Havik Las Bryant Literary Review, Levitate Magazine, and Sudden Denouement Collective. You may read more of Riley Mayes' work on their website, https://rileyrm11.wixsite.com/

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