Rose Smith
Shooting The Strays


Pavement Saw Press Chapbook Series
ISBN 1-886350-59-0
28 Pages, 5.5 by 8.5, Saddle stapled, 2003


A well known national poetry slam competitor, Rose M. Smith makes her living writing computer programs (application scripts and the like) in Columbus, Ohio. She can be found reading her poetry frequently at open mike and organized poetry events in the Central Ohio area. She has appeared in many journals including African Voices, Midwest Poetry Review, Chiron Review, Pudding Magazine, Main Street Rag, Pavement Saw, Poetry Motel, and Concrete Wolf.

Poems in this chapbook have appeared in Pudding Magazine, Main Street Rag, Concrete Wolf, and Pavement Saw.

Just Bread

I come to you in evening light
rubbed with aromatics,
bathed in olive oil and
warmed by the heat
of another day's controlled oppression.
Laying myself before you, calling your name.
Call me Foccacia. I will go well with the soft fare
of Italy. Place an olive on my tongue.
You cringe and move away.
Such a wide loaf, too tough
to pull and peel, too coarse,
perhaps too natural, you think
but do not say.

I roll in coriander, cardamom
and strange herbs of the motherland
waiting to be used. They color me
the orange whisper of ambasha
and I wait in the night
for the soft rustle
of your feet upon the sand,
for the gray dawn at your back,
for you bringing home the product
of your stealth in far-off lands.
I awake to find you sleeping on the sofa
the scepter of your kingdom in one hand
the blue light from your many windowed watchtower
flashing indeterminate across a wide screen
and this is how we dance:
I close my eyes, imagine we
can meet here in this place of dreams.
I hold you in the foreign vision
of a woman you have not known.

You will take the prey-it will not matter
what kind, whatever spices there contained.
However long I marinate, roast, baste, bake or saute,
you will ask for it on Schwebel's-potato, if you please-
place it, press it between two slices
and love the soft yellow of their scream
because nothing else, after all, is bread.
Because anything pressed hard enough
becomes a sandwich anyway.