3 Poems by, Eric Roller


Things Left Behind

a rake with
missing tines

a well-used fork
in the alley
of tossed salad
and sofa

a hallowed
mulberry tree,
home to termites
and Africanized

a favorite phrase
used during rooftop
fireworks 12 miles away,
repeated after every
lost job or flat tire

a friend or two
who followed you
sleepily on two-way screens
made of chimera

Your hair
of golden rod
caught in
the tridents
of shower drains,
and guarded
now by jaded baths
of reflection
and debilitation

Your serpentine path
of drunken silliness
down the barber-striped straw,
mooring on quartered lime
or olive

Your favorite phrase, again,
a measured cadence
to your every throb in life:
Around every tomorrow
is another corner


Ode to the Lean Months

A journal lies
open on your chest
while you catnap,
from hours of stalled,
brooding words;
a pen teeters near the edge
of your fleshy thoughts,
threatening a fall
among the long-lost socks
under bed;
a lamp sends beacons
to the wall plaster poets
who peek from
the edge of
the velveteen drapes
and tsk-tsk your
letting up early

You ignore
the wallflower verse
and hunker deeper
into the flannel sheets,
knowing tonight
your best advice
comes instead
from sleepy ruminations
of those lean months
not long ago
when you ate
from a loaf of bread
and jar of peanut butter,
of your burning
junk mail and yard twigs
in the fireplace
for warmth

Your breath’s cadence
brings you now, perhaps,
to the threshold
of your masterpiece,
and just beyond,
a parted doorway
waits patiently,
to open for the next
rainy season


Potential Energy

You have become
the definition of mass
at rest, invariant
in composition,
in substance,
feeding off the
potential to live a life
that could turn
into matter.

Sinew and muscle
divided by inertia
equals an evening lost
to dream weddings
and explosive chefs
whipping up
milky ways
of lemon chiffon
without isotope
Your Miraculous Minutes together
pass at the speed of light,
as a six-year-old boy
watches neighborhood
buddies from the edge
of a two-story theorem.

After all,
who could resist
men fumbling with
chain reactions
on the five-yard line
or jilted lovers
modeling the kinetic
energy of sweet revenge
from the Tropic of Cancer?
And who could avert their eyes
while photon particles
undress in the third

The ether sometimes tricks
you into cosmic thought,
but leaves you in
those theoretical weeds
of relativity most nights.
Someday soon
you will abandon your
pixelated black hole
to once again
locate equivalence,
relatively speaking,
and reach your
potential energy

Eric Roller lives in DeLand, FL where he teaches middle school English.  If he can survive until the weekend, he enjoys being outdoors with family and friends.  He is also an avid tennis player who is way past his prime.  His other poetry can be read in The Chestnut Review and The South Dakota Review.  He also has work published online with Rue Scribe and Mothers Always Write.  He has work coming out this summer in Atlas & Alice as well as the Pinyon Review.