“mumbling latin” By: Tara Roeder

i want to do something to impress you:

shoot zigzags of purple lightning from my eyeballs,

nonchalantly float cars until they whirlpool around me in a circle,

cutting the crisp air,

rise slowly to the ceiling, bleeding, mumbling latin,

bring down a cathedral brick by brick with solemn hand gestures

and dazzling dilated pupils,

swallow mount vesuvius.
if i thought it would impress you—nothing does—
i’d tell you the truth:

i killed twenty refugees with a slingshot. i’m really a mountain.

i create small babies in my bathtub. i ate a shopping mall.
but nothing impresses you.
“I knew it,” you’d smirk,
and i’d be forced to run into traffic
so you could see the eighteen wheelers whizzing through me,

leaving me unharmed.
Tara Roeder is an Associate Professor of Writing Studies in New York City. Her poetry has been published in Blood Lotus, and her co-edited collection on writing pedagogy was recently published by Parlor Press. She really likes cats.

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