Three Poems

Follow Me

trauma’d palm trees listening with
the crawl space rat’s path toward ashes
sniffing the home depot stones & methane drains
to contain our watery sex & shit from
flooding vice against the vined wire bordering
where our pending strike yearns loudly secreting
togethering beyond deep surveillance


i can feel it even if i can’t say it or
understand breaking the silence to pieces
the dizzying of the non-sequitur and thinking
thriving beyond survival that we are in
in this moment together present & longing
on our glass table top smudged out
with sunscreen protecting us from seeing


the horizon that we orient toward
but safe from solar rays and history’s
time of technological fact where
the ancient whore’s sandals have imprinted
the dust with ads demanding follow me—
a fact of mere weight i imitate
but no matter how hard i slap


my heel against the slate stage the dent
is subsumed & chronically choked out
each night but here i am blossoming
in the wanting to do all the things we don’t
say outloud wanting the beyonding of it
wanting everything not just islands & not to work
or a syntactic riot & not even just each other


something more like froth rather & winged or
flowers bruised & indistinguishable


Serenity Post

day, body, breathing
if i follow this seeing
what city summits can i conceive of
& how deep in the dirt can i
rest my question, unwind my tide
break the law till it’s broken
and, together, fossilize
the known measures
hushed like nostalgic traces
of rope marks imprinted
around your wrists.


machine song, my forensic shame
this unconditional love in escrow
where a partial third party mediates my view
of glistening dirt and faded starlight.
i’m scared of the overexposed times
when i disappear you behind yourself
& with sunspotted vision
i’m left with only myself to love.


adoration, reinvented time
some days i whisper my name, quietly, to myself.
a rotund hypocorism, blossom’d and swooping
to usher in a new day-and-age
where the horizon’s my trade &
i turn back toward earth,
tilting forward my graced pelvis—
my arched foot, bent around a lucite sun.


ecstatic form, risk, surge
some days i cross titrate my self with clouds
& tidal chores: the earwigs scatter in dismay,
the dust relocates, displacing
the invasive bougainvillea.
little reminders,  like thunder, cake the oat encrusted pan—
& i intertwine my aloneness with your piles
of clothy barricade.


kill fuck marry:
the screen/ the window/ the sky
discarding all threshold, possessed
out of possession, i adjust my sense
of what is coming, to what is already here—
together, the beach crowd calculates distant showers
a superstitious couple blames the traffic
mattresses pile up on curbs, creaking
a detoxed pomegranate branch bends under its blossoms
spectacular & paranoid, the perennial flowers mask up,
multiplying like plastic, floating on camouflaged fences.



Institutional Counter-Memory

glitchy you birthdate, you surveilled genital
we are zip zap zopping our way to community
agreements and measured outcomes alongside
my gayest overgrowing grass where i sit imagining
a craiglist cop so lonesome in his misty truck
counting all those glacial thumbprints
snug in the off hours of the databases
while green flashing lights in detroit
clock in after sunset to burn in his retinas
a rotten promise of surveilling ourselves to safety
as if there was enough money to pay all the state workers
of the world to shop for batons on the DOC websites
while learning gunplay on youtube


tick you hours tick for us all tick
until unioned emails procreate themselves out of existence
when we’ll need new improv games to find our second life’s
metaphysical pact where i can’t see my picket line crush
worrying against the pond’s reflected ozone melding my layers
so spring lasts all year and we learn to ask for something more
than money or hours or redacted assembly
permitted & wispy together now but still so very afraid
colluding against our mistaken horizons that wrap us up
cozy & insured whispering total trafficked divination
faking it moaning i am safer and safer now
lasso’d and cussing the fruits of truth & lies


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Rosie Stockton

Rosie Stockton is a poet based in Los Angeles. Their first book, Permanent Volta, is the recipient of the 2019 Sawtooth Prize and is forthcoming from Nightboat Books in 2021. Their poems have been published by Publication Studio, Monster House Press, BigBig Wednesday, Flint Magazine, A Plume Journal, and WONDER.