Sarah Rosenthal – 2 Poems

Sarah Rosenthal

2 Poems

Riff 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.

Now I say multiple locks, seven fiddlers, four books, hill and dale, may I have a transfer.

My Nudity Blows the World Apart

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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