Register Friday | December 8 | 2023

Three Poems by Damian Rogers

ā€œIā€™m attracted to that sense of beauty, order, shape and form that emerges outside the status quo.ā€

Don’t Look Now

It’s like when you eat sour candy,
how the sugar-coated acid
twists your tongue into a knot.

At the Ambassador Roller Rink
no one would slow-skate with me.

A boy rolled over to you during the power ballad
and I turned into a pillar of salt.

No, that’s wrong. I mean, I felt a lot like a sand dune. Or like
that baby food jar our family member filled with volcanic ash.

I asked the DJ to help me prove I knew the secret moves
for transforming my body into four different letters—

Y: raise your hands to the sky.
M: touch your shoulders like a mountain range.
C: pull your belly toward the door.
A: place your palms over your head and pray.

He said no. He said we don’t play that song.

I said oh. I said wait, hold on;
I am changing into someone
completely different and better.

When I turned you were holding hands with a stranger,
the handle of his comb waved from his back pocket like a flag.

You vanished behind him like a rabbit
hopping back into his magician’s black hat.

Then someone released the balloons.

A Great Happiness Awaits

A young girl rides a bike
down a brushstroke road,
gravel biting her ankles.
The smell of an orchard in bloom
hits her in the chest
like an open hand.

Let’s sing with the girl
as her feet spin out a sustained
whole note: O….

It’s simple. She loves a man
who is married to another,
one who wishes that she dry up
and crumble like an autumn leaf.

It’s simple. There will be plums.
There will be a white pillow beneath her head.
There will be things worth writing down.

Song of the Silver-Haired Hippie

When the old farmhouse has fallen down
And all the grass has turned to brown
Money comes to me

When black ice is on the ground
And the night’s sucked clean of sound
Money comes to me

Glory, how I love this town
Though rivals rise from every bow
With their eyes fixed to my crown
O, Money, come to me