J. Allyn Rosser

( A S

(This Line Intentionally Left Blank)

we all got tickets to The Truth
finally we thought finally
when the curtain fell away
our indrawn breaths could be heard
even in the next theater
even the gasp of the mime
who had slipped in among us
a loud whushing like reams of litter
whirling upward in a gale
hands shot to mouths and mouths
fell open I couldn’ t say within
how many seconds
all our minds shut some
slamming others just a click
like 300 parallel
rows of tipped dominoes
a racket of almost unison

As If

How do you explain why elephants
appear to move their unwieldy hulks
with greater dignity than most humans do
in their finest moments,
as if they had evolved beyond wanting
anything but what they have?
Why does the field begin to ripple
before the wind arrives in whispers,
as if there were a communication,
as if the landscape were poorly dubbed,
and we weren’ t expected to notice?
What butterfly does not dart away from us
as if it could sense our latent cruelties,
and yet return to check and double-check?

Subway Seethe

What could have been the big to-do
that caused him to push me aside
on that platform? Was a woman who knew
there must be some good even inside
an ass like him on board that train?
Charity? Frances? His last chance
in a ratty string of last chances? Jane?
Surely in all of us is some good.
Better love thy neighbor, buddy,
lest she shove back. Maybe I should.
It's probably just a cruddy
downtown interview leading to
some cheap-tie, careerist, dull
cul-de-sac he's speeding to.

Sugar Dada

Go home. It's never what you think it is,
The kiss, the diamond, the slamdance pulse in the wrist.
Nothing is true, my dear, not even this

Rumor of passion you'll doubtless insist
On perceiving in my glance. Please just
Go. Home is never what you think it is.

Meaning lies in meaning's absence. The mist
Is always almost just about to lift.
Nothing is truer. Dear, not even this

Candle can explain its searing twist
Of flame mounted on cool amethyst.
Go on home — not where you think it is,