Rachel Rosin is a current undergraduate student at Wesleyan University. She has
taken workshop with Jericho Brown and Marie Howe. She recently founded a
literary-arts publication as Wesleyan, called Sawcebox. Sawcebox is a 16th century
term that was used to refer to a "sassy," or impudent woman. Sawcebox, therefore,
is an all-female identifying literary arts magazine for artists, writers, and poets.
Rachel has never been called a "sawcebox," though she has been told she looks
like Natalie Portman (but only in the Black Swan).
See the Flies
When I give you a message, I need to be told all of it,
down to the fall groceries at the end of your Stop n' Shop bag
with its brownness and paperness and deadness. I feel like flies,
that have been sprayed by Father in the air at night and are found
ticking on the glassed oak four legged creature at sunrise.
The one that we like to eat off of. We get off on it.
When I ask you if tomatoes are in the fridge, I'm on my knees,
praying that you hold me. Feelings? Here they are.
You tell me, there. See them. They fly
like things with wings, like feelings,
Sarah. They have made themselves a boat up there,
and they enter in me and through me and they fly in
our sea of tomato sauce and spaghetti and my
brownless and paperless body. It is
March. I barely see them ticking.
On late afternoons, when we would drive to the beach,
she would bend and we would find her
bones in July. We would wear large bathing suits and she
would make us sand castles. In the snow, she liked to raise her hand,
how long would it take to die? Welcome to Anna.
She stared at legs and she stared at the tops of
knee caps until she was reminded of her mother's eager
molten cakes. The ones pushed on plates of paper in front of her until she learned
to pull them out of herself. She wanted to be one of those girls, with
their armpits made out of waffle crumbs and swaying floral dresses. Let's talk
about art. Imagine a white canvas with Jackson Pollock's
puke. This is called bulimia. Now, it is four in the morning. We are
having a sleepover. Anna sits on my bathroom floor and looks
down the deep hole, wondering if she could slide inside
and live with a family of rats. Anna loves her cheese.
Forgiving You in Jerusalem
You book my flights on Saturday afternoons. You have your head
to your mug and I have my mug to my body. Don't look at me.
We are lovers that live down the hall. You sit and you sift
through my resting manicure and dancing childhood and soft sheets and
we're talking, pickle to toe. Let me ask you about Harry's girlfriend or poke
you about my favorite sorbet. This is our radio station and I love
to bounce. I know your hair would be curly if it was long and I wonder
what you looked like as a baby. Send your mother a picture
of us. Do you remember when we were running in
and out of my cheeks? I got hit by your truck but
only felt the small cars on the highway.
I Said I Wasn't Angry
While the walls in the apartment are a grey blend
of wool and the kind of melancholy
that makes you wonder how they'd eulogize you —
colors that try to be the other
like the foggy green of a pond in a painting that cries
to be a hazy blue or a nicer grey —
the morning sun is yellow.
Don't make me angry.
These unstained, noiseless sheets and the shade of
her baldness did not interfere with the splendor of
my white morning sun and yellow branches and winter
the sky is quiet like a lens
that has taken everything for itself. And I am
sitting on the bed, pretending
to look out the green panel and searching
for a sound, not angry. The phone rings,
pigeons fly by, and somebody has cancer.
These colors are not here for me. They are there for
the girls who weep together; their tears pour
into the river that smells
of dying paints and my mother's
therapy. And I am twenty-six. I am
not angry, not italicized, but I am
for the naked color of my
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