stephanie roberts



mazzie lies supine on my couch all day,
waiting for any rescue from inertia and the other
physical laws—patient that the german train
of karma is running late, as any fantastic
believer in deus ex macchina calls resignation
courage. you’d have to crawl on your belly to
look up from her sea level—homeless, if we see
things as they are, and somehow unloved, the call
that is made when the doctor re-breaks the arm
to set the crack correctly. we should open
a cupcake shop named Cloying & Paranoia
where mazzie may be useful in her sweetness,
tense between spliffs and demure over desire
—every sip of wine brings a justification
from her (which is starting to work my thirsty
nerves). she explains her sleeping bag
as: camping, to the delivery guy and or anyone
that enters the room. no one is that interested
and perhaps that’s the problem impatient
for explanation. it’s the why of a dropped
egg oozing its useless over the linoleum. why dye
your hair grey? why were you arrested? why not
curse the god that gave you sleep with no dreams?
why do you want to live in silence? that last one
is mine, who feel no need to





ironically, in the morning, the soles of your feet
ache, only after you’ve rested them in dreaming.
plantar fasciitis, to companion the broken glass
strewn over the last inches of life toward the downer
of decrepitude.

across from these pessimistic manias, against
a duck down pillow, the summer peach of your
days, breathes mortality’s fragrance from a landscape,
known and beloved as coney island. and the years
(kind and not) folded and unfolded the flesh surface
to the jaw, where this whole damn loveliness hinges
bello with the bloom of a semi-harvested field of stubble.
a stiff brush from a man’s pain that abrades the willing
path down an unclenched valley with sighs made of fire.

open your hymnals to sixteen ninety-one.

this is the other who is also the same, the one
whose eyes spark an amber intoxicant of attraction.
this is the x at hell’s crossroad, where the spring river
swollen and unfrozen tears through you high and gasping.
your grip on the rim of reason is mystery and your
shared blood-type, where no wrinkle nor darkness dare.

repeat after me. repeat after me.

you could twist all broken up over the grey,
white, cold, and always the coming november,
if you’re fool enough to hoard the misery-coloured
days’ subtractions, instead of the violet flare of
this early hour’s jazz and the melancholy measures
of ben wolfe and orrin evans. it raises the salt level
in the eyes, oh yes it does sisters, and now you decide
again to be grateful, praying to the sleeper beside you
(a known foolishness but thoughtful), thanking
him (your god!) for his very survival, just be! and
then comes the amen of the tips of god’s waking,
first, middle, and third, fingers placed on your tongue
the preamble to prayer and the opening liturgy
of i love you.


stephanie roberts is a poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her writing has been featured or is forthcoming in issues of Blue Lyra ReviewCV2, and A Literation Magazine. Originally from the East New York section of Brooklyn, she’s lived pour beaucoup des années, in a wee town, just outside of Montréal, Canada.


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