Stan Sanvel Rubin


Finding her hairbrush
with strands of hair,
delicate silk of auburn tipped with gray,
still caught like threads
of a ruined cobweb
takes me back
before everything that snared us,
kept love tied to illness
through six and a half hard years
in which the fight we waged
with body was never to be won
despite her spirit,
despite the series
of brave wigs she chose—
even the snow white one
she took from its cardboard box
and placed on her head like a crown—
to face reality, she said,
looking to the mirror, not at me,
portraying the older woman
she knew she was becoming
and knew she would never be.

Collapse of the Wave Function

We don’t know which
matters most, particle or wave,
though they pass through us both endlessly,
the way feelings pass, unseen.

In the universe we inhabit, every particle
dances with an invisible partner.
How to estimate the time
desire takes to cross the heart?

We now know three kinds of neutrinos––
electron, muon, tao––
oscillate between identities
as they travel from the sun.

We know they have mass,
despite so long considered massless,
that even the most stable particle,
the proton, might decay,

and the charge of your casual finger tips
brushing my skin
causes oscillations in places
you know nothing of.


Loneliness is next to godliness,
I think

while the cat pushes the empty tuna can around,
swipes at my knee as she passes,

and disappears behind the couch
or into the closet.

I miss you,
sitting in the living room silence.

I miss our argument
which is still everywhere

in this shrinking house
still filled with our ignorance.

I miss our surrealist drama,
our last goodbye.

What makes the air so clear
you’d think someone drunk had turned sober?

Where did the cat go,
with her weird ownership of space?

God must be lonely
watching us.

Author Portrait

Stan Sanvel Rubin’s poems have appeared widely in magazines including The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry Northwest, The Iowa Review, Florida Review, Ascent and, most recently, American Journal of Poetry, One, Apple Valley Review, Red Savina Review, Poet Lore, and Hubbub. His fourth full-length collection, There. Here., was published by Lost Horse Press in 2013. His third, Hidden Sequel, won the Barrow Street Press Poetry Book Prize. He lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington and writes essay reviews of poetry for Water-Stone Review out of Hamline University, St. Paul, MN.

View the website of Stan Sanvel Rubin