The 2River View 17.3 (Spring 2013)

J. S. Belote

White Room

numerous            the leaves
lined with white     are not enough
to cut the dark           from them
& so        only seem           the stupid
afterthought of moon        that is
the afterthought of sun
that is     the freckles on my arm
I haul                from childhood.

From Rhode Island           when I held
a conch shell        to my ear
& ignored the ocean      
& listened for

the loudness         that lived in me
& did not sound    like me
or the heartbeat
of thudding apples           in the orchard
the morning        would reveal
through the numerous leaves    & fog

& It’s all so unimportant now.
So unimportant.                This window
& the dull earth     of wind & leaves
it gives you.      This white room                                    
you turn back to                 with nothing
in it     but a piano
you would play madly

If it was not missing        most
of its keys     & on fire—

filling your lungs     with the black
music that will consume you.

J. S. Belote is an MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University. His poems have appeared in Adroit Journal, The Cortland Review, and Mead Magazine. contactwebsite