Close-up, Color-coded/In Memoriam


Say we have tomorrow                         the bare trappings of narrative

            the last pack of cigarettes                    traditionally reckless

                        in velvet bikinis


meditating more and more                   on the path from the swimming pool

            to the kitchen sink chili dogs                and how will we blaze?


The red rocket ship                  launches unplanned

            cognizant of the hours

the rapist standing behind                    girls renting a raft.


And it’s only because               our zodiac sign

            became a brittle skull

once we left the shopping mall


that the champion is putting                his energy elsewhere

            a moral gambit             a trick poem again

lemon juice on my crotch                    to lighten the blonde.



It’s because of the long walk                how the weather keeps changing

            dappling the edges                   deer not eating the paw-paws.


You keep saying the leaves      won’t turn inside out

            the cats’ deaths are equal         to the amens.


I leave my grandmother’s wig on the horse

            crying to get past                     the vantage alarms.

I didn’t think               the rocket would last.


I want to pray        don’t know what to ask


                                                                        do you crave food or do you crave boys

                                                                        during summer’s dark roost?








Jessie Janeshek's second full-length book of poems, The Shaky Phase, is forthcoming from Stalking Horse Press. Her chapbooks are Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press, 2016), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press, 2016), and Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming, 2017). Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010) is her first full-length collection.

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