person Rosemarie Dombrowski, six poems

Rosemarie Dombrowski is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Phoenix, AZ and the founder of rinky dink press. She is the recipient of five Pushcart nominations, a 2017 Arts Hero Award, the 2017 Carrie McCray Literary Award in Nonfiction, and a fellowship from the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics. Her collections include The Book of Emergencies (2014, Five Oaks Press), The Philosophy of Unclean Things (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and The Cleavage Planes of Southwest Minerals [A Love Story], winner of the 2017 Split Rock Review chapbook competition.

~ The following poems are from Rosemarie Dombrowski’s unpublished chapbook entitled Corpus Callosum, a few of which were previously published by Split Rock Review. ~



Your heart is light,

like a stone

with no mass.

Your mind is dense

with harried thoughts.

Someone suggests electrolysis,

begins to probe you in places

that require lubrication.

In the telescope’s mirror,

you look like a spaceship

destined for a black hole.



You confuse the 17th century chemist

with the guy from the early nineties,

a time when everything depended on

two-thirds of the body being invisible

and everything that remained

being burned off like pig-fat

but with more pressure

than you thought possible,

more than you imagined

could fill the esophagus

of a woman already gagging

on liquefied air,

standing on a planet

that used to be so breathable.



You can barely remember the last

streetlamp-nocturne in yellow,

cabin vapors trapped inside your body,

a bag of Chex mix and coffee sludge

clenched between your thighs

and your finger between his teeth,

his molars igniting your senses

and your air-sign proclivities,

thinking how brilliant you might be

if you survived this.



You were inactive,

so you called yourself

a slow-glow in the night,

like the gasses that illuminated

the bank building on Southern.

When you were young,

you wanted to be the one

who uncovered King Tut’s tomb.

When you got older,

you realized that you preferred

the Nobel prize in anything.



Your heart is ancient,

like a lake-bed caustic to the touch,

sometimes riddled with holes

between here and Las Cruces,

your vision battling the I-10 ash

until you beg someone to pull over

next to a no trespassing sign

so you can retrieve the burnt-orange crystals,

become one with the mythological origins,

the time before match-heads and Drano.



The essence of lime-rind

curled like a double helix

around your tongue,

feeling its way around your orifices,

through the holes in your teeth and bones

until you stop to slake your thirst

with the carbonated amalgamation

of something that isn’t too sweet or viscous,

like the summer you spent patching walls

and drinking peach tea,

rolling the plaster of Paris

between your forefinger and thumb,

which we both know was a metaphor

for something unspeakable.



5 thoughts on “person Rosemarie Dombrowski, six poems

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s