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Jess Rose Apr 2010
I would like to imagine that you and I are each a nucleus
And somewhere else, miles away
The rest of us is spinning
On some course with unimaginable science and math
And that somewhere, miles from both of us
Those flying terrifying parts found each other
And held hands
And together we made something more complex
That involved diagrams with little lines and letters

I would again like to imagine
That I am sitting in my center
Miles from that chaos
And that I can’t feel the rest of me, spinning
And complex
That I can’t feel that part of you that is attached to me
And I can’t feel when that bond breaks
And again we are something less then we used to be

Yes, I would like to imagine that.
Jess Rose Apr 2010
There was the refinery in the ice desert of Wyoming
Past the mountains, at 3 in the morning
Lit up in the night like it was in love
And so was I

There were the oil rigs lined up in rows
Out on the smooth stone of ocean
And we pointed out to them like they
Were our light houses
Like we were boats
Like we needed something to guide us home

And in between here and there
Were semi trucks
With steel quilted sides
And lights like strange underwater fish
Attracting this to that
Attracting me to you

And there were all those times
When you were my flame
In the deep cold
When you were my foundation
Under the immensity of water
When you were my drive
Through all of these other things

And we still point at each other, over a distance
Like you or I is a light
Like you or I is still in love
Jess Rose Apr 2010
Tonight in yoga
While we take corpse pose
And are supposed to empty our bodies and minds
The teacher says:
Listen to the tide of your breath

I think of the beach
The color of mist
And the time I found a
Dead sea otter
As long as myself
And still beautiful

When I open my eyes the walls
Are saffron
And the ceiling is burnt orange

I think of the monks
In the art museum
Who swept their hands
Through a sand medallion
And then released the remains
Into a lake with lilly pads

And when I look out the screen door
I see a racoon, climbing down
After plundering eggs

And I think of the cabin
Where the racoons would eat
The dog food at night
And my brother and I
In footed pajamas
Would hold flashlights and watch them

And as we close shavasana
And sit up
I realize I am the least empty
The least dead
The most beautiful corpse
Jess Rose Jan 2010
That winter the mountains were 20 feet taller
And I burrowed into my corner of the house
Like an animal

The pigeons sat in a line
On the Home Improvement sign
Their collars pulled up
In a cold there is no name for

The parking lots were sheets
Of ice
With ant hills
A tall light pole reaching out
Each opening
Lighting our ant ways
Through tunnels of snow

I called to say
“I miss you”
You said:
“It’s snowing in Chicago”
And I want to say
“It’s snowing here too, without you”

That winter things were filled
With winter
Chairs, pots, trees
My head
My dishware

That winter was a vast field
Between two people
And the hush of the winter trees
And the winter sky
And all the snowflakes that fell between them.
Jess Rose Jan 2010
From there, it took off
In a tight and furious arch
That so fast
Seemed slowed
By heartbeats
Tied to a certain spark, accelerated
As it came flying back towards the land again
Like some sort of strange bird
Or insect
So controlled, yet so headily wild
Throwing back its head
Catching on fire
Burning down the line
Burning down its spine
All pressure telling it to fly
From the post
Burst outward
In an explosion akin to stars
Or bullet wounds
Arching, terribly fast
It hits the palm of my hand
And lolls like a tired dog
Jess Rose Jan 2010
Sometimes the world is
    So large
That I can only handle it
    One poem at a time.
Counting each round grape
    Each pearl
One after another, obsessively,
    Like a rosary of words.

Sometimes the world
    Is so fast
I can only handle it
    One pause at a time.
Counting the moment each leaf
    Each breath
Falls in order, tumbling,
    Like the earth is falling.

Sometimes the world
    Is so beautiful
I can only handle it
    Once in my skin.
Counting each crease and groove
    Each nerve
Like it might last, forever,
    And in this poem, it will.
Jess Rose Jan 2010
~“I’m haunted, I don’t find the poetry,
It finds me”
~Li-Young Lee

I knew then, what to call it
Walking, head down
And smoking
I could feel The Following
Pressing those points
Of bone and sinew in my back
Then slowly sliding inside my mouth
And I would be chewing it
This ghost
Turning it over with my tongue

At night
My pillow writhes with small demons
These small thoughts
With words on pitchforks
Happenstance bonfires burning
And I roll my lids over them
And observe them with closed eyes

I sit here, paused for him,
And wait….
And wait…..
For his familiar head to gust
Through my bedroom door
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