(This Line Intentionally Left Blank)

By J. Allyn Rosser b. 1957
we all got tickets to The Truth
finally we thought finally
when the curtain fell away
our indrawn breaths could be heard
even in the next theater
even the gasp of the mime
who had slipped in among us
a loud whushing like reams of litter
whirling upward in a gale
hands shot to mouths and mouths
fell open I couldn’t say within
how many seconds
all our minds shut some
slamming others just a click
like 300 parallel
rows of tipped dominoes  
a racket of almost unison

believe me we wouldn’t
have resisted anything
but the truth
so instantly and universally
yet we sat there and waited
for something else
which you could say we also got
if you count the mime’s
unpleasant remark
so she wasn’t even a real mime
probably part of what was
clearly just a performance

Source: Poetry (November 2011).

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2011
 J. Allyn Rosser

Biography

J. Allyn Rosser was born in Pennsylvania and attended Middlebury College in Vermont as well as the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a doctorate. Her works include Bright Moves (1990), which won the Morse Poetry Prize, and Misery Prefigured (2001), winner of the Crab Orchard Award. In 2007 she was awarded The New Criterion Poetry Prize for a new book of poems entitled Foiled Again, published in the Fall of 2007. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Theater & Dance

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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