Literary Arts | READ LOCAL First

Poems by Rose

READ LOCAL First represents Utah’s most comprehensive collection of celebrated and promising writers of fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, and memoir. This month we bring you Rose Nelson, SLC-based poet and artist. They are an active member of the Wanting to Die Poetry Club, a group that celebrates and promotes the work of local poets and artists.






if you touch the roof of my mouth with your finger tip you could win a prize


granted, it would just be another lie

like the time I told you my tongue would cure your headache

or that time you said I was kind



my radiator exploded


dirt water — out of my home’s bronze tit

the great indoor weather event


when we heard our landlord was dead

we both saw him just                       expiring

in his kitchen

next to the counter full of cigarettes, prescription pills, and cat hair


we had no heat for eleven days

and he died on his motorcycle

not at home


and it was several months after he died that the radiator just cracked


his house      in shock

before starting to mourn



your overwhelming desire for a woman-shaped thing


you tell me, in a long and roundabout way,

that you want to masturbate into a woman-shaped thing


but that the woman part is being difficult- it lets you know

that your ardent desire to masturbate into it is inadequate, somehow


this frightens you


you wonder, out loud, why these woman-shaped things will not allow you

to masturbate into them


you say that you would take any woman-shaped thing- any at all

so why, you ask, are there no woman-shaped things that want you to masturbate into them


even an ugly one, you say, even an ugly woman-shaped thing would be enough

so long as you could masturbate into it


you wonder, again out loud

using the word ‘sex’ like it means something to you





that quarter-second noise you make when you cum

half-surprised and sweaty

clutching a winning horse ticket

and saying what a hard race it was


waiting on the Wasatch Fault


sometimes the TRAX car shakes my home

and I wake up sure that it is here


that earthly tremor-

the valley in orgasm


some times the build up starts early in the morning

and I feel the mountains tense their legs beneath me

and the scaly animal in my chest

starts to shiver and molt


on these days the tension recedes by evening

with the ground left- unsatisfied and shrill


and that animal near my sternum eats its molt

so that nothing goes to waste