Close-up, Mr. Bubble


I can only get noir in the summer                    skull high-heeled

            a souvenir parasoled                blood on my hands

                        the wooden crib empty

                                                            the still thin-hipped girls

                        at the nightswim without me                $2.00 for pizza

                                    a sailor bikini

                                                                        waiting for him

                        or Sunday dinner         chicken-fried steak

                                                the fur hat I turned to a purse.


My tastes are crass. They smell like carrion      and I couldn’t jump in.

                        I ask the rum                courage probable

to give me thunderstorms                    to tape the soap operas

                        to lay the dolls out.                  I bob their black hair

            wrapped in a mumu                 masturbate with a brush.



                                                You couldn’t control               my orange-blossom hurl

                                                            off the miniature Hollywood sign

                                    or who was the heartthrob       the day we were born.

                                                            My hair holds the heat.

                                    Sex depends on the light          and I ache for the blank sun

                                                the swampboat            your strong nails and teeth.



                                    Sometimes I’m so desperate                to slip into death

                                                braids and blue lips              birds and baby barrettes

                                                            the bathtub replicates the lagoon.


                                                                                    But you, you were different.

                                                                                                Less flapper. More frippery

                                                                                    mouse-grey crepe, patent leather.

                                                                                                Your pale baby gone

                                                                                    before realization

                                                                                                and yes the house covered in blood.   









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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