Stan Sanvel Rubin


I don’t like it
when the guy in the corner
watches me as soon as I walk
into the crowded bar
trying to be anonymous.
I can feel him watching.
I don’t think I’m nervous
but I feel nervous.
I think the moose head
on the wall is what makes
the glass of beer slip
from my fingers and break
on the hard floor
into a number of shards
each of which contains
a droplet of liquid light
like a promise before
it settles into being
just another broken thing
on a dirty floor.
The room is loud
so no one hears it.
When I look again
he’s still watching
as if he expected me
to do that and expects
me to do it again
as if I have to.

Stan Sanvel Rubin’s poems have appeared in numerous US journals including Agni, Poetry Northwest, and Georgia Review, among others, as well as in Canada, Ireland, and China. Four full-length collections include There. Here. (Lost Horse Press) and Hidden Sequel (Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize). Recent anthologies are For Love of OrcasMoving Images: Poems on Film; and Sharing This Delicate Bread. Born in Philadelphia, he has lived on the north Olympic Peninsula of Washington for twenty years.

Previous: Annie PrzypysznyIssue 20 • Next: Jonathan B. Aibel