SOMETHING TERRIBLE IS GOING TO HAPPEN
i don’t know what
this is my first memory.
i’m going to write a book called god awful poems
comprised of the most red love poems
my sad glad mad heart can mustard.
mustard (the colour of sorrow’s altitude),
what best befits the travesty of tube steak
not vile sweet tomato sauces.
something terrible isn’t going to happen,
and the lies about love i believe in ain’t happenin’
neither—no matter how much the poets sing.
i’m going to write a book called a poet’s gotta eat;
it’s going to have a poem about this couple sitting
across the aisle, touching each other religiously,
comprehensively kissing the hollows of their
hope, nuzzling the pulsing plains in their necks,
counting with lips the knuckles they will bruise,
all before one or the other goes to the washroom
to empty themselves. i will script this mist in a diabetic’s
blood as the insoluble truth about love.
i’ll sell you above your romanticism or cynicism.
you’ll wander the earth wanting this terrible terrible
to strike you while little by little your heart
muscle withers when you hope love is happening
and it isn’t.
you will remember your first memory.
you will be in the book of god-awful poems.
re: stacks my love is like a pair of shoes, there was need for, bought in haste down an unrepeatable street at the base of a mountain along the bay of naples on the coast of amalfi, made of scarlet leather with cheek-tender lining. did i already mention haste? they were my favourite; the first time i tried to say amo le scarpe. i gave them to you (tho you can't wear them because you've never seen my mountain nor walked down the happiest moment of my life all of which miss you now). we two-stepped to bon iver, we side-stepped the obvious and today i see them on your back porch, in the rain, not ruined, they were sewn too well for forget, but under the downfall they are requesting a change of song.
COME BACK AND SOLVE FOR X Longing we say, because desire is full of endless distance. – Robert Hass somewhere inside stillness you move your thirsty hunger upsets time am i solving for your happiness or mine it would help to settle the perimeter of beginning it would help if we defined our variables who is the cause of our effect come rest your atlas on my axis pivot on our common denominator instead of this endless expanse of irrational numbers at the finish of this i want to line up x to the third power with u and carry them and live there inside your y until the end of pi.
stephanie roberts has work featured or forthcoming in numerous journals, in North America and Europe, including Atlanta Review, FLAPPERHOUSE, Crannóg, The Stockholm Review of Literature, Occulum, and The New Quarterly. A 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee, she counts among her strengths passionate curiosity and good humour. Her books can be found here. Twitter shenanigans @ringtales. www.oceansandfire.com