stephanie roberts — Mall of the Sirens

Poet name: stephanie roberts Poem title: Mall of the Sirens Poem: willows tremble, in from the road, near water's lip, where one would wish to be instead of here, drumming in line, humming Hendrix, holding for purchase things you don't want, a doodad you'd realize doesn't suit your frame if you took a beat to let yourself rise to your own amazement, which is beyond the atrium's glass ceiling, beyond the tang of loneliness in the storm nestled heart level. this is what comes of taking dreams off the horizon. it is the sun or nothing else, you would scream if you weren't caught up in the chorus. an acorn folded its arms. it desired death in black's riches. when you first got hold of it, this is also what you wanted. pocket-placed, wishes grow overly precious, like a tongue over decay in a tooth. desire, wish, & will fought like tights in the laundry. you jumped fences without losing breath. you could keep the bow toward sunset. it felt like all the time in the world. eyes to sky, small running start with a tree asleep at your breast. everything smooth is rose tone & false. it was the sun or nothing else you mumble to nobody. only the sun. now you won't reach home. you never reach home. End of poem. Credits: Copyright © stephanie roberts Originally published in EVENT Magazine, Issue 47.2, Fall/Winter 2018 stephanie roberts is a prize-winning, Quebec-based, poet and author of rushes from the river disappointment (McGill-Queen's University Press 2020). Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, NY, her work has been widely featured in publications such as Poetry, EVENT, Arc Poetry, Crannóg, Room and elsewhere. She is the first-place winner of The Sixty-Four: Best Poets of 2018 (Black Mountain Press). Find stephanie at