Life Gets Stuck in the Hush-Hush
but I don’t want to give up
the rusty switchboard
the brief slot I have
and I don’t know her process
therefore I am jealous
and I need rice-based static
a break in this rain
and I need background music
and I need woundy pinups
moonblue plastic ponies
and I run my sadness along the red stethoscope
as I primp to sell you war poems door-to-door.
She washes my hair every so often
mumbling something about a stuffed Jesus
peachy reflexes a blue plastic comb
embossed with a seahorse that it’s her dead son’s birthday
and Baby Bianca has lost all her curls
and I don’t want to give up
thick lines, transatlantic cloth diapers
the phone call that ate all my days.
Your prayers strike guilt
down my leg and every so often
I think you’re the one
I can’t cross.
Jessie Janeshek’s first book of poems is Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). An Assistant Professor of English and the Director of Writing at Bethany College, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee–Knoxville and an M.F.A. from Emerson College. She co-edited the literary anthology Outscape: Writings on Fences and Frontiers (KWG Press, 2008).