Welsey Rothman


              “living room”

In America, we say
                       manifest destiny

                        which means inherent right
            god-blessed / anointed

and providential / ordained
             by the very fabric

blown out
                         at that first moment

of hydrogen / of carbon
              and confusion. Who first named it

time? And what caused the name?
Hunting / maybe. When the animals

                          come jaunting. A pattern
              perhaps / of night to day

and seasons. When dark
                         conceals the world.

               Time / a human invention / divined
for knowing’s sake.

                       The trek west sated
                        lusts / curiosity / the need

to reach with every limb
               a full extension. In the living room

                         a clock rocks its brass
                weight / reminding us

we have somewhere
                                  to overtake

            to spread our eyes / piss
                       with a grin / that we own

by celestial ordination   
                        by the twisting tale

            we’ve mastered mything / that we own
whatever we desire.


Welsey Rothman

Wesley Rothman’s poems and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in 32 Poems, Asheville Poetry ReviewBellingham ReviewCrab Orchard ReviewHarpur Palate, Inter|ruptureMissouri ReviewPANKPhantom LimbRattleThe Rumpus, Similar:Peaks::Thrush, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. He has worked with Copper Canyon Press, PloughsharesNarrative, and Salamander, and teaches writing and cultural literatures at Emerson College and the University of Massachusetts Boston.