Two Poems by Rachel Gellman

Apr 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Poetry

To the Ampersand

There’s a colon between our two
separate parts. Let’s add a semi in there
to make us depend upon each other.
I want to verb you, so we should really
dash out of here, punctually,
once they give us our sentence. Period,
period, why must you get in the way
of our desire to keep on going? I know,
it’d be a mess out there without you—
all those little ellipsis running around…
But you, ampersand, oh, your voluptuousness,
how your rolling curves save me
from a comma splice. Why don’t you
comma little closer so you can finish
this endless list? Please don’t think
I’d ever underscore your importance;
no one brings things together quite like you.
Out of a crowd, you stand—so symbolic—
your only competition may be the mark
of exclamation. But don’t worry, the mark
vacations all but a few days a year,
while you, my dear, I need daily.


Camera to Lens

Some people might look right through you,
but there’s no way I could do that.

Your curves are working well.
I just want to use my viewfinder

to frame your wide angles

my shutter releases.

You know what they say—
it’s not the length of the zoom,

but the way in which we zoom
that really makes a difference.

I don’t need no self-timer
to open my aperture, baby

just let the light shine through so we can

F-stop, F-stop, F-don’t-stop.

Let’s focus on us tonight,
until we just click, automatically.

Feel free to fully expose yourself—
I won’t run away with red eyes.

Your fears will be filtered, I promise.
Just imagine our depth of field!


Rachel Gellman is a Bay Area-native poet and teacher living in San Diego. She does not speak Latin or ride a motorcycle, but she is an adequate kazoo player. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The San Diego Poetry Annual, The Serving House Journal, Aperçus Quarterly, and Poetry International, among others. If she could be anyone else, she’d be Beyonce.

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