Two Poems by Jen Rouse

And So the Night

by Jen Rouse

I. I return once more for the unfurling of sky. Storms race like dragons across a fiery landscape, cracked open like geodes. No softness in gossamer shards and pricked fingers. Their mouths pour rain. They knock at the window. The body responds with a desire to be mythical—beaded headdress, wings made of dawn, scepter in silent orbit. Open your arms. I am here beside you. II. Her mad chariot rides the night like I wish she’d ride me— the rolling thunder of her thighs, her hair blown back and wild in the sky. Each word like hunger, the husky smoke of manic laughter. Everyone loves the Artemis- Mother. Sixty nymphs is never enough. And I break open this adoration like a delicate egg before her.


by Jen Rouse

When something dies inside you

it is difficult not to feel toxic

like your guts are neon green

and all acid and like a barrel of it

like in a Batman movie and

riiiiiggght. You close every door

behind you, because you

just can’t stand being followed

anymore. All those people

walking softly, walking like

a baby should be there.

Ooops. Haha. Nope.

And they said:

It just wasn’t the right time.

Maybe it happened to tell you something.

It’s better it ended early.

Holy mother of

god. You are not allowed

another immaculate conception.

Duh! You greedy bastard.

It’s more than a change in plans,

a little hiccough. Each time the

pharmacist asks if you understand

the pills could cause an abortion,

you want to slam your head

into the glass, Joker-style,

and invite her over to watch.

Jen Rouse’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Crab Fat, Parentheses, Anti-Heroin Chic, Poet Lore, Gulf Stream, and elsewhere. Her work will be included this summer in the Mississippi Review 2018 Prize Issue. Rouse’s chapbook, Acid and Tender, was published in 2016 by Headmistress Press. Find her at and on Twitter @jrouse.

Image by Alexander Day, found on Flickr:

#marchapril2018 #jenrouse #poetry #springtime #fertility

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