What they don’t tell you about the long haul

Beth Ruscio 

Then late one afternoon     exhausted from trying to find agreement     we just

             take an impromptu nap     and for hours we rant in our sleep

Childless     we argue     about the values 

             toys taught us as kids     beside the point but    

lack of the tangible has become accusation     poof  


                             the length of all our married years     minus

                             what we have to show for it    


for now     nothing is solid    

                                                                      unmooring us 

This chill     cured only by proximity    snuggling

                                                                     slouching towards closeness     

Awake      and all is stark again 


            hard on the eyes     dimming our prospects

                                                                                                                       our senses


In this low-ceilinged rented room     under the welcome mats and subfloor

                                                                     countless secrets


                                                                                                                               harden     in us     

Beth Ruscio, the daughter of actors, is part of a working class family of artists, writers and
actors living in L.A. She is a poet, an accomplished actress and a mentor at Otis College of
Art and Design. Her poetry has been Pushcart Prize nominated, and her work, including her
manuscripts, Speaking Parts and Hollywood Forever Cemetery have won finalist honors
for several prizes including The Wilder, The Sunken Garden, The Tupelo Quarterly, The
Ruth Stone and Two Sylvias. Recent work is published in Tupelo Quarterly, Cultural
Weekly, Cathexis Northwest Press, Malpais Review, In Posse Review, Spillway, California Journal of Poetics, upcoming in Tulane Review and in the anthologies Beyond The Lyric Moment, 1001 Nights,
Conducting A Life: Maria Irene Fornes and Dark Ink: Poetry Inspired by Horror.