Robert Rorabeck

(04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

Absent Without Leave


Close set the stores and hide
The abdomen of my laziness. Feed chickenpox
To alligators,
And go outdoors, brown bagging liquor and fireworks.
Go to the head of your class and stink
Up the place.
Look at pictures of the amber roadie who
Fauns the chestnut eyes of her shallow
Conviction over the muscular tattoos of
Bouncers, of Jews- Make fun of her conviction:
Show her how you can be a swan too;
By holding your breath, turn it green,

Go out into the middle of the school,
Get dizzy and scream- Look down the crinoline
Blouse of the harpsichord substitute-
On your free time bight your tongue and scribble out
Novels to her freshman joy,
But otherwise tell her she should be working concessions
At the roller rink,
With those legs, with those legs!

Misspell to her three times in once sentence,
And wait to hear a mouthful of her wildflower convictions.
She will say that those boys are rowdy swans to her,
Like big, meaty hibiscus; and she goes to them the way a little
Princess goes to sleep with her frog princes in
The aloe of the carport of drowning cars;
So don’t tell her how to fly,
But sell to her things she doesn’t need, pointed obnoxious
Poems she doesn’t need to hear,
And tell her you’ll be right back- Go over beneath the
Australian Pines and use the crumbling pornography
Inside the junked cars to pleasure yourself.
Range into the dunes, converse with cenotaphs of confused mermaids,
The awol GI Joes praying down wind of
The bright copper crosses of conquistadors

When you are back, don’t tell her a thing.
She won’t even look at you; and smile-
Feed the gold-fish to the swish-tailed cat,
Because you already knew she wouldn’t finish
This anyways.

Submitted: Thursday, September 10, 2009
Edited: Monday, June 20, 2011

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Comments about this poem (Absent Without Leave by Robert Rorabeck )

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  • Patricia Grantham (3/25/2013 7:54:00 AM)

    This poem brings back school memories. I never stayed away from school but sometimes acted
    up in class. You made school seem like a lot of fun with all of your antics. A truly enjoyed write! (Report) Reply

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