Two Poems / by John Rossi

Pay No Mind

Pay no mind to the fishing boats, the seanight must swallow them. The fisherman will still send us the sadness locked in his calloused hands. Hidden in the stinging wind, and marching with the drowning waves.

And if you must call out to him, wring your hands and wail some new song, some untold melody. For the solitude and the tides and the gasoline have almost deafened him.

Pay no mind to those stars there. They are relics, they have nothing new to say. I will ask them their ages. I will translate for you.

And if you pulsate, if you must radiate your own cosmos, turn off all of the lights above and whisper it to me.

And those pebbles you pass between your toes, pay them no mind either. They are weary from their travels and wish only to rest here on the shore.

But if you must ask them where they have been, lay down your head on my chest and let my aching breaths fill the gaps of their stories, between wavebreaks, for I know them well.

And my tears now that come, pay no mind to them. No, not when there is all this. Count the wave crests. Let the mist paint with you and the moon. I would swirl his grays and your oranges.

But if you must ask, I weep for you to join me. For the sea to somehow spill me into you, like the breakers flood the tidepools. For it to crash upon you with my cyclones and my surges, for it to devastate you with me. As you have broken me, your onslaught.

And then I could love again. The stories of the pebbles . The secrets I have for stars. The lights on fishing boats.





Did It Rain

Did it rain the night I watched the candlelight pour over your shoulders and collect like honey in the bowls of your collar bones?

And softly you sang to tomatoes all of the notes that will stay locked in my skin, harbingers of your songs.

and red pith.
Persimmon shades over
bones and melodies.

Did it rain the night your eyes made the dark a fortress of my quickened breaths and my threadbare lips?

And softly you kissed my eyelids and made of them shields to bear away my rasping heart.

burned and burning.
Your mouth
names me
to ashes and coals.

Did it rain the night when I needed stars and winds to hold me, like the guardians I have made them to be?
And softly the clouds hung there, and with compassion they painted my blood a wonderful bluegrey.

and cloudbursts.
Cinereal condensation
on my windowpanes.

Did it rain the night I knew I had lost your treacle-sweet taste, and the clamor of your touch?

And softly you left me, as raindrops fall from the lamina of young birch leaves. Silent and penitent, to the drifting brook below.

through my palms
over knuckles
fallen away.




John Rossi lives and works in Brooklyn, and is inspired by angry train people and humanity in general. He works in event production, and travels the country plying his trade at various film and music festivals.