John Gosslee 

 

The elbows hang

below the knees

knuckles dust the carpet

 

the spine unravels

a long OH

from the clinched stomach

 

the lips curve

memememomomomahahah

I sound like an ape

 

the acting coach says

everything but the intellect

is the body

 

the distance between the actors

on stage is a formula for longing

 

she takes his hand

coughs as if he is wearing cologne

she’s allergic to

 

the status decision of pretending to be the guy

who wears glasses, but forgets them

on the day of the bank heist and squints

builds the character from inside

 

I strain during the cold read

of the scene

 

find the funniest part of her face

that you’ve loved for years

 

status: he loves her and the child

worries about being caught for embezzlement

and overeats for years

 

to play the fat man

think of the heaviest part of your body

drag it around the room

 

the talk about being on television

is talk

 

 

the casting director’s camera

is at eye level

she takes note in the small book

 

find the saddest part of her face,

because you’ll see a lot of it

in the coming months

and then you’ll say goodbye forever

 

John Gosslee is an American poet. He is the editor of @FjordsReview and @PANKmagazine. He is also the director of @CRPress

Artwork by Bridget M