I am (4 – 12pm, prompt 1)

I write much about the “I am”
and I was,
and I could be, so I mourn
the wasted wonder years and
I am
always carting around the
“sure thing” and the worry
that you know it’s a disguise,
I am holding
the scabs I picked
and have placed the band aids on my lunchbox
I am
often losing my breath
on hills and making a joke out of it,
I hold your hand to make me faster.
I am
wondering why I brought you along for a climb,
I am mediocre and you are so pristine,
I swear you said everything you do is art and I wonder what that means about the steps
I count how many are between us,
sometimes as many as thirteen and as few as a half,
I am good at counting small numbers
but you do the math,
I am wondering how many days are between us,
sometimes as few as one,
but as many as one thousand,
I take the bandaids off my lunchbox
and place them back on my knees.

 

4, 12pm, angel rosen

aphrodite (3 – 11am)

I see
aphrodite and her cherry trees
the stems and sweets
shake out from the skirt,
I think
it is unfortunate
to obey a different God,
I balance his orders
with the pen and the letter opener
carving out the place for dollars
in the wall.

but I wonder what it is
to take place in this longing,
the affair,
a good weather to grow
my paramour
I water the seeds with
apprehension
I do not kneel
so I am not caught
worshipping
outside of my home.

gender obligation (2 – 10am)

I know women
of different ages
who bend themselves
over small, hot baths
basking in their bad posture
and greasy faces.

in the evening,
they can finally disassemble
their body – it’s objects
the sexy things
the pillars
capable of work
and keeping the men
well-filed.

they hang their nurturing arms
on the shelf, beside
the loaned mouth,
loving eyes,
the shrinking stomach.

She sinks into the bath,
herself at last,
the water washes away the assault of the day,
but not the decade.

She must perform womanhood again tomorrow,
make her tired skin available to
every child and every man,
fill her handbag with solutions and
sex appeal.

But for now – she can be large,
and all her own –
the walls know nothing of gender
and it’s obligation.

She can be tired.
She can collapse.
In the evening,
she can be unavailable,
and tomorrow
she will be padded with her
apologies
as she is asked to be here and there,
and she will be,
she will count her steps
to each place demanding her,
so she can find her way back
to the bath.

 

2/24

Angel Rosen

disappearing acts (1 – 9am)

I replaced the carpet
with cool black tile
that sticks to the bottom of my
naked feet

and although
I watched the carpet
endure the box cutter
and go flying out the window,
and I saw it consumed
with a few loose branches
in the burn pile,
I think about how
I’m going to have to get the
blood out.

The soap
the water
the scrub
and suction
were not enough
to clear the carpet
of my friends
and their attempts
at disappearing acts.

 

1/24

Angel Rosen

24! A poem about high school

Red lockers, yellow lockers
The library hallway smells like spaghetti.
Stolen art supplies.
Wasted ink and glue.
The crunching of the guillotine cardboard cutter.
The stairs.
A painted quote above them.
I loved those stairs, I loved those red lockers.
A precious locket of memories in a locked brick building.

You can’t graduate from memories

23

I can’t promise that I’m not a thunderstorm
but I was the best part of the rain.
The sleep weather.
The gentle roars.
The Friday nights in.
The cool flicker.
The grey.

22

Every poet is a little closer to
God than a surgeon but
only one of us makes our readers believe
Worship the scalpel or the scale?

He digs out the bullet,
Pumps an empty stomach of pills,
And I wrote the truth
That put them there.

21

A small departure
for a bigger adventure
The horizon fades

Tiny pockets filled
her choice of stones or liquor
Sink, float, swallow, gasp

20

I could sift through her mystery
and suck it in to make ash.
She is a poorly patterned couch.
She is the pill bottles, the potential of them.
Rooster alarm clocks.
One sharp tooth.
The fourth leaf on a clover.
Wolf chewing on rawhide.
She gargle in the throat.

She makes herself quite ill.