i.m. Rose Strowman

what a thrill for a kid    running up the staircase
he’s climbed a thousand times before
and seeing the wardrobe    for the first time

not as a boring white object     but as a newfound
treasure trove    because    this time    he’s allowed
to take any garment he likes and tear it

to pieces    because    he’s told     this is how
we say    goodbye to the dead     and now
years later     when he hears the slightest tear

the ripping open of Velcro straps
or trousers splitting    he feels something
tearing inside    a sharp-angled fissure

weave its way through him like a snake
through grass    recalling    how easily     in the end
the bobble hat came undone    once he had

cut through the right thread    how
the whole fabric just slackened    fell apart
so effortlessly    in his hands



James Strowman‘s poems have been published in The Frogmore Papers and The Blue Nib Literary Magazine. Currently based in France, James is a faculty member at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University where he teaches courses in contemporary Anglophone music and poetry.