Ross White

O bless the Internet,
where by dint of an @,
an unwitting British party girl 
might send photos to Ross White,
an American stranger in a cheap apartment,
not altogether an unwilling recipient,
mistaking me for Ross White, 
who, last time I looked,
was a peachfuzz-mustachioed 
footy player living in a prep school dormitory;
who, from the captions provided, 
seems to be the intended recipient 
of photos sent to Ross White, 
American stranger— 
not the Kyoto-based Ross White, 
who teaches English and reports 
fascination with Japanese girls
in neon cub-ear caps . . . I’d like to marry one,
and certainly not to be confused 
with world traveler Ross White, 
who reports Penang is a hot stinking place 
too far from Australia 
and the mates I left behind, 
who didn’t like wearing short white pants 
with high white socks 
on the estates of wealthy Malaysians—, 
an American stranger who
(and I’d like to put this part in third person, 
but this Ross White has an affection
for confessional)
is both me and fascinated 
by Boxing Day, 
which is when Ross White’s British friend 
took her mates out dancing:
Emilie, who, according to the captions,
drank too many shots,
was weepy in the bathroom 
about a bloke,
crept out to make calls on her mobile,
and Lauren was dressed 
like a black-and-white bee, 
and Lora, in every photo
but about whom the captions say little,
so perhaps Ross White knows Lora well,
and Liam from Leeds was there—
let us not forget handsome, thinly bearded Liam,
he was in only the one photo,
Lora and Liam from Leeds 
and Ross White’s British friend,
arm in arm in arm, both girls
kissing Liam from Leeds on the cheek,
though he leans toward Lora!—
and if I were Ross White
(which I am, you know), 
I might be red-faced over Liam, 
because he’s only in the one shot 
but too handsome to repeatedly omit,
so I wonder if he held the camera all night,
in which case he paid loving attention to Lora, 
and I might pace or plot or
pound at the keyboard—
though perhaps that isn’t behavior
befitting Ross White,
the other Ross White, 
maybe any of the other Ross Whites— 
but if that Ross White would volunteer
his e-mail address to his British friend posthaste,
I would be ever so grateful, 
for it appears that I’ve become a little flush, 
placed in the awkward position 
of unintentional and eager voyeur,
and thank heavens 
the pictures were of a night of dancing,
no more—still, please, 
Ross White, 
send your address to her.
© 2012 University of North Carolina Greensboro


ROSS WHITE is the editor of Inch, a magazine of short poetry and microfiction, and the publisher of Bull City Press. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in BOXCAR Poetry Review, Meridian, New England Review, and Poetry Daily, among others. A graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, he teaches creative writing at UNC-Chapel Hill and is a co-founder of The Hinge Literary Center, which serves writers in North Carolina.