Ten True Facts About Me

by J. Allyn Rosser

I have always wondered what it would be like

to be socially adept; blind; a bird.

I never have aspirin on me when I need it.

I love Fritos. I cannot resist a Frito.

I am drawn to people who at first seem callous.

Then I’m surprised to learn that they are.

I always think I will suck on an ice cube until

it dissolves but I always wind up crunching down.

I don’t always believe the truth,

but when given the chance I usually tell it.

Every time I cross a bridge over water I think of jumping

but I have never been suicidal.

Shaking hands is always distasteful. Too distant for someone

you like, too intimate for someone you don’t, or don’t yet.

I like to casually utter invented slang and proverbs.

Whose wings are flesh, his feet are wax.

I can’t use anyone’s first name until we’ve shared

at least four conversations, maybe a beer.

For me what’s scary about the movie image of Frankenstein

is the way his forearms jut out from his sleeves.

I stood for a long time on the Ponte Vecchio in 2002.

I was alone, and there was a lot of wind.

I plant things that the deer eat before they have a chance to bloom.

Then the next year I plant them again.

You can learn a lot about people by how frequently they close

emails with “Love,” but you need to get their password to find out

and by then it’s too late. I had a friend who used

the word love a lot, but her drawbridge was always up.

If you give me a choice between a bag of Fritos

and a homemade brownie I won’t know what to say.

When I have insomnia it is invariably after

I have been too truthful with someone.

Keeping a journal, he told me, is like simultaneously

building and burning a bridge over Lethe.


He could never remember I take my coffee black.

Nevertheless we were lovers.

J. Allyn Rosser teaches at Ohio University and has many credits to her name, including winning the Colorado Prize and Akron Prize.