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Julie Rouse 


One year all she wants is a rabbit fur jacket like H had and hovered in the middle of the playground. Ten thousand white hairs pulled up and out. Broken, Rabbit is adorable. Cartoon Rabbit always escapes. What a tricky bitch! I shout, run Rabbit! but bucktoothed Rabbit yawns. Rabbit, incapable of vomiting, grazes all afternoon in clover. Tear away her paper skin exposing delicious flesh: pull skin off the front legs towards the hind feet, stripping it inside out like a glove. Slit the rabbit down the front. Wash the carcass inside and out. Her hind foot has four toes. Rabbit slips her skin anew, absorbing her own. Winter privation breeds necessity but I insert a line.

In Our Happy Polity


These are the catastrophes minus our attention.
This is the feeling cut from the skin of my wrist.
Nerve tissue has nothing to say. I am never
hungry, for real hunger. I never flood, actually.
Scientists give robot the power to refuse
and send it to the ledge. It’s only allowed to say
this is not safe. No escape from pathos.
If my religion says no TV, then no car radios.
We do not eat meat but our lives are rendered
of it. This does not make me feel morally over.
Sweet animal, open her and recall gut,
dreams of making much money, the sexual spirit
of gain. I don’t think as much of my ass as you do
my cunt, out of which nothing comes unless
I’m in trouble. Holes! I love the way you blow
your nose every morning when you’re done
taking a shit. I lie in bed and smile, receiving
such messages from the body beyond.

Some Elemental 


Okay, little ghost hands. Part me
the one where I listen to the wind
of your voice against my palms;
the only way I can hear you is so
unreliable. Two hundred something
instances of the bereaved hearing
the voice of their lost loved one
over the phone. But I wonder
how does technology change things?
Can a ghost bounce off of a satellite?
Or are we so bound to the earth?
You are not lost to me, yet, but still
I can barely hear you. Press your lips
against my breastbone and breathe
the words in there. I am a shell; the air
blowing through me suggests the sea.
Then if I place my palms together and open
them side by side a book appears.
The story of some women who were
taken and held in a very small place
where their voices hardly mattered
anymore. Their captor liked to take
and sprawl them out like dolls,
then place them back in cotton
batting, their open mouths against
the soft and silent fur. Have you
ever stuffed your mouth with cotton
balls? Become as dry as a hairless
vagina. As someone very, very thirsty
crossing a border from one dry country
into the next, no water to be found.
The plastic jug is empty. The plastic
eyes become marbled, pitted
with blown sand. The women,
placed on the high shelf of a book
case, begin to leap into the air.
Such a long drop, their mouths
fill with one long gasp
somehow quenching.

Julie Rouse Pic.jpg

Julie Rouse's poetry has appeared in Arsenic Lobster, deComp, Heavy Feather Review, and Sprung Formal, among others. They are the author of a chapbook, Boy (Dancing Girl Press), and their video recital has appeared at the KCAI exhibition #2 of Windfall Room. They currently live and write in Iowa with fellow-poet and muse, BJ Soloy. 

Bear Review


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