Three Poems by stephanie roberts

Obsidian by Kate Walters


i don’t know what
but something
and soon.
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 
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.


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

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