Rose Laurano Poems

After a ten mile hike

I found heaven in a yogurt.
To clarify: not God. I lost him
(or her, however you pray)
around my old kitchen
table, like dropping a coin
through the hole in a pocket,
looking for it when I go to
buy sweets or cigarettes.

The yogurt tastes like
strawberries and cream,
for once no misrepresentation,
a shining moment of truth,
comforting and solid - here
are the things we cling to like
crossing off shopping lists,
taking baths, cementing
ourselves to the pavement
beneath our feet.

They had no spoons at the
grocery store, so I am spooning
with a fork and marveling
at the English language,
which permits this. Everything
in this second shines -
the abandoned beer bottle, the face
of the alcoholic, the war memorial
with angels rising high.

I can't stop making little
moans with each bite,
little moments of bliss. This
is better than sex. I have
faith that this here is
better than anything I have
ever tasted before, anything
I ever will again.

There's a word for a moment
that inspires nostalgia before
it passes, I'll look it up for you,
I promise, read it back
to you some night, when
it occurs to me again because 
this, perhaps, is
the closest I'll ever come to

The light is red and I'm standing
in the breeze and muttered
conversation, muted horns,
the world spinning away
eating a yogurt that knows
exactly what it is.



Bench at Nightfall

A fox stops in a pooled streetlight
and doesn't see me. We have
both frozen. I stare at him and
he watches the bushes.

The leaves are glossy. I stopped
to smell a rose before I came here.
This bench has a dedication on it,
which I have turned my back on.

The fox turns his head towards 
the street. Cars whisper in the distance.
Any moment he will see me. I have
never been so still. 

My fingers are heavy and dull in
the chill. I suspect I am dull too, 
with merely the benefit of youth. 
Years from now I'll look you up, 
let you know.

One paw is raised like a hunting dog
from a portrait. I must remember this, I think.
One paw is raised like a hunting dog,
and his tail is orange in the light. 
If I reached out I could touch it.

When I first sat down, a man 
walked past so close I could 
smell the way sweat and beer 
mingle at night. He wore a cap 
and a coat. Both were
black. If we reached out in
the night, we could touch.

The world does not exist outside
the light. When the fox departs suddenly
he leaves and takes nothing,
not even a remembrance of me.

The man jumps sideways, away.
I'm so sorry. I didn't see you
there. The cold whipped between us.
He continued walking and I looked
at the bushes. I thought, I have never
been so still.



the process of non-linearity

Oh god, you think. Not
     another one. I could've
done anything tonight. I could've
gone birdwatching, or
walked and watched the sunset
on the downs. Not another one. 
Not the process of non-linearity -
don't you need fractals? he asks. You'll
find you need fractals. she says. 
I am walking and my
head hurts with the poetry
of people.
     They construct 
down the block. Padded 
scaffolding and ladders. 
The hammers sound like 
horses on
            Hammering heads.
I've only had a nip of 
whiskey. Can't drive now. What's
that like, where you're from?
The ocean changes everything.
Just let me lay back, she says.
The horses crack the world in
half, in half again. 
        The car park,
someone grinds their gears
over and over, trying
to escape. The ocean eats
the cliffs, waves grinding. He
tries again.
      I've been invited up
by the queen. Won't you come?
She smokes a cigarette. The glass
has the absence of a reflection
a silhouette blowing smoke. 
He tries 
     again. Just let me lie back
she says. It's just we're busy today.
Never forget you were asked. You
could have. The climbing roses
are in full bloom. I see them 
winding round the sun, purple
pink stems.
     Turn left at the bridge 
past the millstone. Oh, I know
it. I know it now. You've been
there before. He's the very
picture of a butcher. Wouldn't
that be nice. 
There's something
about the chalk. It's not that
I want to jump. This reflection 
could be anyone. I had to drive
them back. It's just
     the world is roughly sewn
at the seams of conversations
in coffee shops. I hate small talk. 
she says. The words come 
fractured and bright. And
there were three of them, and only
two seats, so I said only it's my
     The hammers are horses
building houses down. The smoke is
stark in the black. Let me lay back. 
Let me close my eyes. The sun 
comes out sharp and clouded 
as stilton, as christmas cheese 
with port and sausage, 
help yourself
     the butcher says
it's only one quid fifty if you'll just
help yourself.