Carousel #1 – Jen Rouse

In 1922 they named this carousel

for Jane.  Jane of the 1200 lights

so I can find you, because I drift

and stagger. I skim and soldier

these city streets to get to you.


And I am always trying to get

to you it seems. Your wild horse

named inside me.  Your mane so

soft against my cheek. Have I

at all restored you? The flush


of calliope calling the wind

for you to race.  What do

you remember now, bit clenched

and mouth embraced. I chose

you every time. Like a child believes


in magic. Like we would fly from

the weave and strain of the constant

circle. Hearts always gallop, but mine

gasped in awe. What I saw there

in you. 1200 lights. Enamored.

Jen Rouse

Jen Rouse

Jen Rouse is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Cornell College. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Cleaver, Always Crashing, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. Headmistress Press has published her books Acid and Tender, CAKE, and Riding with Anne Sexton. Find her on Twitter @jrouse.

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