Anne Marie Rooney

Center stain

What you hold into. What you hole
into. What, you hole. Wet on the mattress where
you’ve been. Ash on the mattress,
where you’ve been. Window cracked like
a cloud’s ripped skull. And wet on the wall. And scratch
on the wall where you’re in. Having been
foggy and matted. Having a mattress
on the round floor. And wet on the floor.
Your body round
on the floor. And wet on the floor where
you’ve babied, a baying.
A bread given purpose, where you’ve
been, thread past night. A thing
of old light. Your thin risen out from. Been cloudy
and flesh. And a floor is your skin
what it’s been, depressed in. Out the window
been brick. And white
as brick folds. In the mirror cracked open
some white, being ground. Thus been puffy
in mess. All being and flush in the skin having
flesh. Been past being full to being
flat sadly. Mattress opened
of sheet. And day opened
of sheet. And what are the boxes, you
are that they heel. Been knees’ inside creak.
Having pressed into heat. Gone flat
in red marks being pushed, pressed
to rip. Corners in stain, having listened, sat splat
in, redressed, what it looks. What walks
down the street to being in starker.
What walks, even. Not slimming, not slime.
And knowing the room being born
from the room.


AnneMarieRooneyAnne Marie Rooney is the author of Spitshine (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2012), as well as the chapbooks The Buff (The Cupboard, 2011) and Shell of an egg in an effort (Birds of Lace, 2013). Her work has been featured in the Best New Poets and Best American Poetry anthologies and been the recipient of the Iowa Review Award, the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, and others. A founding member of Line Assembly, she currently lives in New Orleans, where she works as a teaching artist.