Three Poems by Roseanna Alice Boswell

Love Poem in Rural Oklahoma

You say safe like it is something you can build
for me, or around me, but every single sidewalk

is like a mouth here—it wants to swallow & I do not 
want to know what is under asphalt-tongue.

Sometimes we talk politics so calmly together
—like this isn’t a matter of life or bloodied teeth.

Like you being found in a bathroom couldn’t be
the last thing, the last straw for some other man—

some stranger with a wide fist/or a gun/or a friend
& I guess this is why we call them red states.

When we are in bed together I lock every door, 
every window. You touch me & I melt flight 

instincts into our pillows. 
Find fight still warm in your mouth. 

On Being Fat-Shamed While Out with Your Conventionally Attractive Boyfriend:

waiter brings my sandwich with fries
and hands it to my boyfriend—

is confused when I don’t seem grateful
they’ve swapped me for my date’s salad.

This is just one way of practicing grace,
my mother says—people mostly

mean well and are doing their best
and don’t realize how they sound.

I try to play that game too, like maybe
they were having a really bad day.

But I think this is just a way of practicing
economy—how I quietly switch plates

and wrap half of my sandwich for home
—how we reduce everything to its least

offensive form—how my boyfriend asks 
for dressing on the side and I ask for the check.

Fable for Lost Things

the tree outside my house had kittens

        and they mewl in the branches

make an animal racket all night

furred throats unfurled toe-leaves

these wild things have no father

arrived orphaned already feral

one of them failed to thrive

and I found her limp body in my yard

eyes a day from opening       I imagined the others

watching her burial

Roseanna Alice Boswell is a queer poet from Upstate New York. Her work has appeared or will soon appear in: Driftwood Press, Jarfly Magazine, Capulet Magazine, and elsewhere. Roseanna holds an MFA from Bowling Green State University, and is the creator of Bunny Zine Press. She currently moonlights as an anxious English adjunct instructor and part-time correspondent for the Stillwater (Oklahoma) News Press. Find her on Twitter @swellbunny posting about feminism and her love of exclamation marks.

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