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Julie Rogers Jan 15
My friend who isn’t one
Said being a starving artist is a new aesthetic
Like brunching at farmer’s markets
Paint drips, dropped on, white shirts
No shows, at art shows, in SoHo
Exotic meds, white dreads, still fed
Living in your bed head

My cat, she knows the truth
Napping on a pile of wet cat food

Actually, it’s
Calling your chef friend Michael again
And asking him if he knows a different way
To make ramen taste better
Because last time it still tasted
Like you forgot to pay your light bill
Julie Rogers Dec 2018
I packed you up with packing tape
A box marked dreams deceased
Bubble wrapped old promises
We’d never get to keep

I moved you in a moving van
Between a sofa and a rug
Both smothered, covered in the dirt
Of all the holes we dug

And I stopped at a stop sign
One morning along the way
Opened the door the moving van
To think on the mess we made

And I left you on the roadside
A box among the trees
With an old red sweater
Somewhere along route I- 70
Julie Rogers Dec 2018
I realized that your area code
Was the same as one of my friends
Did you know her?
Or were you some stranger on the other side of a swiveling bar stool?
Was it abnormally warm in Cincinnati when you ordered the second beer?
I imagine you remarked about how fast the year was drawing to a close
And pulled the knit cap tighter on your head
And loosened your grip on the beer
The cliché draft you order that doesn’t fit your eyeglasses or your astronomy career
It would be nice if beer was cheaper than water
But it isn’t
And you’re still a stranger on the other side of a swiveling barstool
Julie Rogers Nov 2018
Was it you spinning vinyl
In that 3rd floor apartment in New York
Walls close, a small space
You’re wrapped up in my sweater
And singing songs I knew once
To her and her angel face
While leaves paint the pavement outside

Or was it you shouting
In that rally on the streets of suburbia
Last fall, the rain fell forever
But you were brave wrapped in my sweater
Chanting with the big crowd
The air smelled like kettle corn
And the people on the street sides cheered

It couldn’t have been you
On the cold bathroom floor in Seattle
Cold sweats, pupils dilated
My sweater pulled over your sequin dress
Vinyl record song
                in the background
How you looked like disco ball
Shattered on the floor that day

It may have been you buying coffee
Across the taxi tracks in Brooklyn
Americano, extra shot
The city bubbling over like shaken soda
Smiling like the day I gave you that sweater
Broken as the disco ball on the floor
Spinning the vinyl I bought you in suburbia
Julie Rogers Nov 2018
Mama said there’s no more
cowboys in the west
Just lizard men
with monsters on their chest
No more southern belles
just slimy sugar snakes
Smearing their lips with fish scales
to taste like cake

Mama said there’s no more
cowboys to ride into the dawn
Just scattered limbs passed out
in the front lawn
No cupcake women
hosting great soirées
Just frightened deer
that stare into the grey
Julie Rogers Nov 2018
I wish I saw myself clearly
In these black mirrors
Through which I see the world
Through which the world sees “me”
Everyone walks around with these

My big sister bleeds on the glass
Of her black mirror
Cutting the corners of her curves
To fit inside the black mirror
Children walk around with these

My brothers put drugs on the surface
Of black mirrors
Noses high in the air from the reflection
In the black mirror
I walk around with these

[ I believe the fruit on the tree
Of Adam and Eve
May have been an Apple ]
Julie Rogers Nov 2018
You said you were aging
like fine wine
but you’ve oxidated
Full of air and still out-dated
If you give me enough time I just might hate this

Maybe years from now I’ll find you on a shelf, waiting
and wonder how you might have tasted
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