Susan Rooke


Trouble seeks you, requests your hand where
it does not belong, no other invitation so compelling.

You touch darkness though it burns, wish
to know what comes uncoiled in the pocket

of the snake hole, what heart beats without its head.
What poison-bright legs propel the leaf that creeps

the forest floor of its own accord. You'll prick
your finger on the spindle of the spider's fang

while sifting through the crumble in a live oak hollow.
100 years of sleep await you in the eye of that tree.

Susan Rooke has recent or forthcoming poems in Kentucky Review, Red Weather, The Avalon Literary Review, and the anthology Pushing the Envelope: Epistolary Poems (ed. Jonas Zdanys, Lamar University Press 2015). A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a Best of the Net nominee, she seeks to publish her fantasy novel The Space Between in the coming year. She lives in Austin, Texas.