Sue Rose



Isolation Experiment

I play solitaire for hours, soothed
by the patterns of wooden balls.
This waiting is a perfect science.
I have everything I need
to measure the transition of my body
from one moment to the next.

If I could count how many
average breaths make up an hour,
plot blood pressure or temperature
like constellations to guide a ship,
I could gauge how long
I’ve been here, how long to go.

I can feel all thirty feet of mortar
pressing down on this Plexiglass cube
as I listen to the regular beat of blood,
the creaking and sighing as my body
goes about its business, each breath
like the rush and retreat of the waves.

The intercom on the wall is my oracle—
I wait beneath it on my knees, pray
for it to speak, tell me my time is up.
I think sometimes I’m mad
with the imperfect silence. I shout
and curse and beg, but no one comes.




Sue Rose is currently translating a fantasy novel series billed as the French Harry Potter. Her debut poetry collection, From the Dark Room, was published by Cinnamon Press (2011- A chapbook, Heart Archives, is forthcoming from Hercules Editions, and a second collection, The Cost of Keys, is due in 2014




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