Three poems by Danielle Rose • Empty Mirror

imminent / credit: emimminent / credit: em

aleister crowley summoned demons & all i get is this tarot telling me about how i am always in the wrong

i want to become a fountain / first still stone / then bubbling
water like seeping / like an underground stream that swells
beneath us / but i still lacquer myself in protections
like how a graveyard becomes an ocean / like how i launder
my filth & then keep scrubbing / what is a stain
but something we keep washing / because i want to become
my mother’s high cabinet / where she kept her gods
behind plastic containers / i just want to stop asking
questions about how i began / & flow
like a fountain / i can be still stone / i can be
the water / always gently rippling / i want
to write this poem like a means to become corrected
again & again becoming / another round of scrubbing

in which i explain to socrates why i am bottling my secrets into a jar

it is how i can beg permission / to be the way sunrise is both the bedroom window & a way to open it wide / because this is difficult work / like climbing a mountain or falling out of love / & in my dreams i am a chunk of marble to be carved / but this is not a doorway that likes to open / i am meddling in dangerous things / this is a search for coalescence between heartbeats / & how to live with the things that make such demands of me / like choosing the color of my candor / or how ants carry their fallen / if i were a geyser i would just be quiet / bubbling at a murmur / but this is a rushing river & the rapids overtake me / with all this begging i have trouble breathing / i have trouble being a dollhouse when all the tiny furniture is broken / if my pleading were an anchor i could moor a ship / but i am akin to flotsam / perhaps i could be a sunken treasure & a forgotten maritime grave / when i write these poems i want them to circumvent this memory / to keep my secrets while also telling them / so when diotoma claims all acts of creation are poetry i just agree & remain quiet

on becoming a dovecote

when i think about dovecotes they are volumetric space
between wingtips / the gulping of chicks widening their beaks
into the air / & then they are air / because i think of my father
the first time he almost died / he had become a bed / a set of ill
covering pajamas / he was diminutive like two horseflies
fucking / & i know we need this space between us / so i do not
become a bed or a set of pajamas / there is that moment
when a father becomes bedridden / when they install metal rods
to strengthen a back that was broken / i was sixteen
& my chromosomes were burning

& my chromosomes were burning
into the air / & then they are air / because i think of my father
when i think about dovecotes they are volumetric space
to strengthen a back that was broken / i was sixteen
the first time he almost died / he had become a bed / a set of ill
between wingtips / the gulping of chicks widening their beaks
when a father becomes bedridden / when they install metal rods
covering pajamas / he was diminutive like two horseflies
become a bed or a set of pajamas / there is that moment
fucking / & i know we need this space between us / so i do not

About Danielle Rose

Danielle Rose lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their two cats. She is the managing editor of Dovecote Magazine and used to be a boy.

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