The antiquated stench of the town—horse piss, saltmarsh, rotting
shoes and wood—and upward our noses turn. Ballast-packed streets,
the ships unloading wares to market. Handled and nameless. We’ve
got our science minds on tonight. We sit inside a clapboard house
playing “Solve for Mouse” in hospital gloves at the dinner table. It’s a
subpar game so we tweak the rules to monopolize the dice. Each
possible portion is over-studied: the bends and crooks, the ivories
severely bright. Silk drapes torched indigo by shadows the fire brands.
Something muddyish was dragged across the rug. If we find the
answer, we will serve it on silver to the one cat we love.
Emily Rosko is the author of Weather Inventions (University of Akron Press, forthcoming 2018), Prop Rockery (U Akron P 2012), and Raw Goods Inventory (U Iowa Press, 2006). Recent poems appear in Epoch, Crab Orchard Review, and West Branch. She is the editor of A Broken Thing: Poets on the Line (U Iowa P 2011) and poetry editor for Crazyhorse. She teaches at the College of Charleston.