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Erin Rogers

From my [own] Janet Hale.

She was the one with the hair.      I remember.  They took her out of her box.  They took
her printed out and they set her on the coffee table so I could learn her name, type and
face in black and white.

The stamps were all marked, all pre-sent, unsendable.  Plastic doesn’t stick to yellow
pages.  It was the hat-box first—I wanted—the old dress, grey with pink ribbon, frayed
lines of teal.  One: ivory jewelry box. Hat pins and boot hooks.

Her daughter (grand, to me) took me in and that was the time:

“Cute.”  She reads death differently.  For her, it doesn’t blister, or pop—no iridescent
black tar

which, if you mean polychrome

I never wondered how she (another child-queen) kept the giant circled Z on
her forehead (a file cabinet crown)      until I saw the letter H

The way I look in suspenders, Christmas colors, duct tape.

Every year, we received a large box full.  Non-profit Santa, out in public.  I always had a
fondness for sweaters on other people.  Each take their finds.  My father: WWII aviation.
My brother: Ken Burn’s New York.  My mother: Simon Schama’s Power of Art. Me:
The Art of Magic—outdated, underfunded, a brief, passionate affair.

Behind Joshua 1:9 and after the middle prayer, I scribble a gargoyle in profile.  Scaleskin.
Numbers 22— Balaam.  Scuff-free shoes, but I always have to clean up the kitchen
floor after dancing.  The pleasing give, the easy feel of black curling up under my index
finger.  It’s best when the donkey talks.  I wonder: when does Michael fight the dragon?
I read Revelations to find out the future, to listen for God, to enjoy the story I read as scifi,
a literal fantasy I believe because I have been told to, because I want to.

I’m still listening to you and you’re making a talking: talking sound.

I can circle the roundabout for pleasure, Ms. Hale.  My experience with roosters is that
they charge when you stop looking.

About the Work

Erin Rogers

Erin Rogers likes her text on the page and screen, sometimes simultaneously. She recently performed her piece “Black Lagoon” at the 2011 &Now conference in San Diego as part of their Innovation in a Box series. Her video-text pieces were last seen in the Winter 2011 issue of Quarterly West. She holds an MFA from the University of Utah, where she currently teaches alongside volunteering for [email protected] in Salt Lake City.

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