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
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
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.