Three poems by Rob Plath

tracing 8s

i was five
when my
& i remember
i’d wake up
at 2 or 3 am
to find
my mother
passed out
next to me
in my tiny bed
on nights
my father
was gone
i was scared b/c
she seemed
dead herself
it was like i was
trapped in
a coffin w/ her
& i’d shake
her awake
as one eye
finally opened
& years later
i was alone
in the hospital
room w/ her
on a bright
june day
when she died
& i shook her
by the knee
& waved my hand
in front
of her face
one eye bandaged
& the other
frozen wide open
in the sunlight
& later that night
i remembered
when i was ten
she’d read about
in a magazine
to help improve
yr vision
i remembered
the one
where you close
yr lids
& draw a
figure 8
w/ yr eyes
first clockwise
then counter-clockwise
& i tried doing it
as i lay
awake in the dark
sets of 7
as night came
on deeper



chasms & poets

some scale
the north face
of Everest
while others claw
out of the deep pit
of each morning
& afterwards if
they’re lucky
bloodied blackened
arcs of fingernails
will dip over
the tiers of keys
of the poetry machine




between all the bridges
that i ever burned
that one dark bridge
calling out
to me



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