parallax background


February 1, 2019
MUSIC NEEDS NO ELECTRICITY: 8 soft songs for the acoustic lover
February 2, 2019






The good go to ash like when Thanos snapped.

The rest, like me, remain in spacious frame:
situation, diorama, circumstance.

Rapture’s vision disregards the scene,

looks only for pearly slates, souls elected

for a state free of what I built-cut-cracked,

scratched my fingernails across. Those

I boosted over walls don’t pause to wave,

just leave me office-piled, broke-banked,

face-blanked in the stuff of double lives.



Trash Anatomy: Ass


In high school on the midway

the boys would grab threads

dangling from our cut-offs,

trying to tear shorts shorter.

I called it flirting then, teasing,

and I thought myself safe

because I knew who their moms were

and those moms took no shit.

I rode the ferris wheel with my first boyfriend

as he pulled a thread slowly

from outer to inner thigh

and I was ready for his backseat

by the time we circled down.


Every year still when the fair comes

I shove stretch-marks and scars

into those faded cut-offs, the ones

I made the year I got too tall.

My flat ass jiggles, thread-tickled,

skin freckled like a girl who oiled up to tan.

I wear them with a knotted t-shirt

from a place someone I know worked a while

but not long because those jobs turn fast.

I am too old for this, maybe,

but just old enough to love myself this way.


The whole girdled day I got married,

I wanted back into cut-offs

loose enough to pull over my hips.

I wanted him to unravel me.

Dress for the job you want, they say,

and I want the job of always wanting.














































You consent herein

to observation.

You will tell a story

by which you will be serrated

or, if part of control,


But blind either way. We*

(*I call myself we

because you will think

that we might be men)

will note responses

physical / meta / conscious

not including or limited

to secrets and tells

and our information

will be used for and against

you and your kind.

We appreciate

that you have no alternative.





Jessica L. Walsh is the author of How to Break My Neck and The List of Last Tries (forthcoming 2019) as well as two chapbooks. Her poetry has appeared in RHINO, Tinderbox, Rogue Agent, Whale Road, and more. She is the blog manager for Agape Editions and a community college professor.