Three Poems, Hannah Rousselot


BY THE LAKE

I went outside to smoke a bowl

(because my boyfriend was still sleeping

because the sunrise was magical

because I had no real reason, just desire).

While I was standing out there, my coat wrapped

tight around me and smoke wrapped

loosely around my vision, I saw the geese.

Well, I heard them first—outraged honks

and splashing water and the beating of wings.

Chasing, fighting, they would rise in the air

like deities and fall back into the water

like bullets. Finally getting high, I start to think of

my students, all of whom know what a gun is.

EARTHQUAKE

I.

I feel strangely exposed,

rummaging in the basement

of my grandparents’ home.

I can hear the bones

of this house shifting.

In the dusty corner on a dusty stool

is a dusty book. I blow

off the age and see (in my grandmother’s

handwriting): Book of the Dead.

There’s a greasy fingerprint

on the first page.