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
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.
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.