poem index


Patrick Rosal

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Patrick Rosal is the author of Brooklyn Antediluvian (Persea Books, 2016), Boneshepherds (Persea, 2011), My American Kundiman (Persea, 2006), and Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive (Persea, 2003). He teaches at Rutgers University-Camden and lives in Philadelphia. 

by this poet


Taytay, Rizal Province, Philippines
(based on the photo by Noel Celis)

Hardly anything holds the children up, each poised
mid-air, barely the ball of one small foot
kissing the chair’s wood, so
they don’t just step across, but pause
above the water. I look at that cotton


When the bass drops on Bill Withers’ 
Better Off Dead, it’s like 7 a.m.  
and I confess I’m looking 
over my shoulder once or twice
just to make sure no one in Brooklyn 
is peeking into my third-floor window 
to see me in pajamas I haven’t washed 
for three weeks before I