Jane Virginia Rohrer grew up in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Her work is deeply influenced by both urban and rural Pennsylvania's distinct landscape and cultural legacy.  She currently lives in Wilmington, North Carolina where she is pursuing her MFA. 

2 poems by Jane Rohrer

19

once i was driving

my ex-boyfriend’s f150

with only his stepfather in

the passenger seat down

a dirt backroad.

 

world's end state park

in pennsylvania was shiny schist

rock flaking metallic into frozen creeks.

 

we had hand warmers.

i ran over a pheasant. he wanted to get out

and look at it. he laughed and took a picture

and sent it to his family in a group text.

 

i hadn’t ever seen a pheasant

up close. they are frightened

birds. they quiver between

hunting dog lips. i didn’t want to see

the dead bird guts, its pinhole eyes,

its regal patterned breast

feathers, its twitching

twig-shaped toes,

the white ringed neck splitting open

crushed on the winter dry ground,

the whole family

saying ha ha dead bird ha ha.

 

the mountains whistled me to silence.

the whole truck shuddered

stupidly to life.

 

when we climbed

back in it felt

like i'd skinned the bird eaten

its thin meat and crunched the beak

and i was the bird had been the bird

would be the bird and the dad laughed.

up ahead christmas trees

and cows chewing things

down the side of a hill.

“‘I wish the women would hurry up and take over’ – Leonard Cohen”

 

We were supposed to drink wine & watch

Planet Earth but I couldn’t stop thinking

about all the pictures online that I look bad in.

& how if the earth turned inside out &

my apartment got sucked into itself

& down into the hot rock of those death rivers

people used to get sent down through

with coin eyes & if that happened

right that minute I would die thinking

about my cellulite & what it means

to love the textures of things like

you don’t just love the banana when

it’s fresh & green you have to love the

sad mushy end. On Planet Earth a million

bright red crabs make their way to the

angry ocean & tiny ants climb

out of the ground & spray acid in their

little crab eyes & what a thing to be a crab,

to face sure painful death at every

instant, to not be granted a slow &

graceful decline, to creep through life

defined by what murders you & who

decides to care about your plight.

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