The Purpose

Adrienne Rosenberg

It seems, is to open.


To open each other: and so the people touch each others’ ears and they reach down each others’ throats. They are surprised to learn how warm each others’ hands are. They splinter themselves and stick against each other. They uncover their raw ear drums they look steadily, they look on steadily at the profiles. When alone they try not to fear, they smell rain on the concrete.


The purpose, it seems, is to move, to get to work, to throw their hands into the concrete to hold them under to scratch notes in the wet and hold their breaths and rush to the surface.


The people are sure the purpose is to reach. So they reach with their ribcages, they reach into the storm drains and alleyways they reach in the back of old trucks they turn their chins to the sun and reach for each other. They move, they move their muscles, they move themselves through air currents, the released joints in their fingers they move through.


From what they understand the purpose is to use it all up, so they spend their bodies. They pay, they pay them out. Drive them manic with fists and arched backs. Tumble them in oceans, they sweat through all of it, dry up their joints and lungs and finger bones. They burn through, they use up their bodies first.


They figure the purpose is to be good. They make things with their hands. They try to fix things.


So they the people touch with their hands. Their fingers burn each others’ skin. Their jawbones crack beneath each others’ lips, their profiles fade, they walk alone and smell the rain and are afraid. They try to make things, to build. But the concrete dries their hands and the concrete cracks their hands and they crack it.


They scratch their names in others’ forearms in capital letters and the warmth goes out and they try to reclaim to hold longer so they claw at each other and then leave before going out themselves they try to believe, to believe in Something. They reach for something because they are failing, have failed, have found themselves afraid. So they stand on their knees and feel indescribable love toward their children and lovers and strangers and others and they sit alone and they sit together to see Something there at the edge of each others’ pupils, at the failure of each others’ skin but it breaks, it all breaks, they wonder was it pointless was it


pointless after

all, was it?

Adrienne Rosenberg
Adrienne Rosenberg

Adrienne Rosenberg grew up in Berkeley between the rolling hills and wild California coast. After a five year experiment on the other side of the country, she is happily back in the Bay Area. Adrienne is constantly torn between seeking extremes and seeking balance, keeping moving and staying put. Her poetry has also appeared in Tuesday Magazine, The Gamut and The Quarterlife Quarterly. Her non-fiction has appeared in HBomb Magazine.