Sarah Rosenthal – 2 PoemsSarah Rosenthal
2 PoemsRiff or Rift
The day my mouth burst into flames I understood careful usage. Until then I freely said
transportation, home, perfect kitchen utensil, bridesmaid dress I didn’t get to keep, ask
for his phone number, no one can save you, the picture drops in the dead of night.My Nudity Blows the World Apart
Now I say multiple locks, seven fiddlers, four books, hill and dale, may I have a transfer.
Night descending. We’re on his chaise lounge. Ornate sensibility. Discussing his book—
that’s what I’m there for.
His eyes want so much—want a whole library of love.¹
He’s melting my clothes off. His meaty belly recalls his muscled youth, finds a semblance
in my slim form.
His partner comes home. Trouble in river city. I’m left naked under a couch blanket. The
partner trying to ignore me, normalize, sedate at the home bar. Something refreshing, gin
and tonic in a frosty glass.
I can’t avoid my own nudity forever, for anyone. I’m crouching, a sculpture. Then I’m
¹I can see the library in the dimming light. It’s one room, like any home library (ornate
sensibility), just off the living room. He already has it, so how am I supposed to be it? Or
am I the librarian? I’d rather be a room than a person.
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