Poor Claudia published poetry, prose and conversations online and in print from 2009 to 2018.

Anne Marie Rooney

A Story Casts for Small Light

I am fourteen I feel. Wanting to write
the body even enlarging.
I think of love of falling buildings.
I am back to a hand-holding hall.
Pink on the edge of the edge of my root.
A locker clicks, I kick a boy.
To see the mirror, the mirrored self.
And start the word inside.

In that sheety garden I got up high with all
the animals. Can nothing sleep in me again
if streetlights crowd the ceiling, and cars ghosting
across. I hear that dream going, that hiplift
from the river. Or, here is my river, travel me down
dark streets. Girl like a silvering, invisible ink.
I sip it closed, I sip that air right back to me.

The word starts the river, when I see her.
When she slid under the under all heat
went off. In my leg, which lay a grave.
The wall held the drips, where silence stood,
where she's going. Pray for rain
if you go. I stood at the Cube and cried
at the light. Once across going up
she put her head down.
On my shoulder, which was a music.
Go back to hell if you are.
I am standing at the square, at the light.

Come to: pink dream under blankets of press and not-sweat.
Blank of missed wet.
Her room is dried blood, dried wheat.
I wade the pile until I am close enough to ______.
Everything not smoking.

I cannot know how to be if I am a baby.
I put my angel in a basket for to fry.
Drop the deadly sea. I am rent
from old plants. Tare, as a turned bell,
bands the body. Under the orange I wait to fall
under her hands. Always story of ash.
Impossible in its onceness, and in.
Strike me, strike me, I am hunger.

Night gasps a little letter closed.
The other moon is my torn out eyelash.
In between, high violet. I move my arms
so they hurt. Have always loved the closest
rain, I stand water in till we’re kissing
in closets. The frozen world is arch,
was I fourteen when I gasped.
Move your arms again.
There is that to-be-blown wish. So they hurt,
and wish for the girl.

Every tree is possession. I am past running
in the no snow. If smoke heats the box
room. What I hear is knives, no, one
tall length. It sticks when I take.
I wait this out: the nights she turns
her back back. Never climbing, never netted.
Orangish on the icing swing; precious
things. Winter ran the moon aground,
a word. That knife wonders
the wheel. I write her name so slow it will never
stop bleeding.

The frame stops the day.
Daze of catastrophe, now the smoke is travel.
Turn my turtle on and hike the slant halls.
I cannot up or spurn peak lips.
Sit on the stoop and puff till puff’s cold.
Rain increases the cloud, so wet I dropped a coin in.
I tally up: all the dizzies kissed.
Wear gold when I dress this, one more death.
Sixteenth winter the fattest smudge.
Stealing rimming bottles, and smudge.
(A milk to sink my red, a blood.)

Every grey colludes with grossness.
Nothing feeling and fleet of riding.
Nothing, though I wasn't switch.
Brooklyn dropped ice, I climbed to shed the summer.
She had pink crowns and blue.
Prickle like a swallow swooping home;
or, what is lost (home):
I rub my nose on it.
And a fire to the shoulder.
Peach mallows, where I held her.
One time, and I want to be a fire.

And potent, how light entered, it almost burned, for my face was naked, held up.

In the dream she’d grown a mustache.

Stills hidden in the stand (place once walked).

To only heat part; to always explore.

A story casts (for) small light. Gray and curls.

I watch the ants go by, by.

The ink stops holding where the cold has spread its juice.

This table is tapped, a poem tacked (up).
Slips and lisps, I pulled to blush the brownstone.
Each night I kept it open.
My back, first love (first terror).
All the sheared lines (first love, and terror).
Every stretch does break, impress.
Would she touch me. She would.

Anne Marie Rooney

Anne Marie Rooney is the author of Spitshine (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2012) and No Beautiful (Carnegie Mellon University Press, forthcoming 2018). Her poetry has been featured in the Best American Poetry and Best New Poets anthologies, and been the recipient of the Iowa Review Award, the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, a Barbara Deming Memorial Grant, and others. She currently lives in Baltimore.