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FOUR POEMS BY JENNIFER MACBAIN-STEPHENS

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Listen to Case # 4167 d, e, f, g

 

Case # 4167 (d)

  Dear Rory,

 I know you are tied up. Here is a headline for you, as you sink into a morphine haze.

 

Solace #2: Girl citizens got out alive without being burned: a spark, an after glow, an all consuming flesh eating fire of melty eyeballs and hearts.

 It’s a solace Rory, for the rest of us.

 

Case # 4167 (e)

 

Dear Rory,

 I cried for you.

 I know you remember business casual,

shag carpet, but it wasn’t carpet,

 

it was ink suffocating you through nostrils

and throat

 

a roaring from

the inside out.

 

 

Case # 4167 (f)

 

Dear Rory,

 

There is still love.

 

He used the word trounce.

all Hybrid Blue’s love that word

 

the “t” and “r” similar to their word for deep feeling:

and the place of lions: Trafalgar.

 

he was gray scissor scarf and height

impossible, army boots, size 52

 

he doesn’t

whistle blue grass tentativeness

 

when he’s hunting

 

grabs my fingerprints tries to imprint

them onto his Adam’s apple

 

compresses my lips on the stairs

kissing my orange and indigo

 

scans my ponytail for microchips

 

the over-sized John Lennon t shirt

he peeled off that one time

 

outside the bottle rocket bucket

of sound and grizzle

 

of removing guts with a smoldering shovel

so they don’t multiply

 

bury them in compost gardens

in fast food compartment dumpsters

 

a bell rings on repeat

calls us back to the POD

 

but what if another Jennifer walks through

the paper Mache door Rory?

 

carrying two heads

better than me

 

that morning in the snow:

my me time forgotten

 

 

 

Case # 4167 (g)

 Dear Rory,

 This is your account:

 “Rory” was grabbed, pulled into an abandoned office supply store. Held down against loose leaf and hard white printer plastic. He said before he would shut up forever, that hands came out from a forehead. The tiny sucking fingertips touched his lips, the fingers that weren’t fingers. The electric shocks / memories jangled in his brain like pebbles / his throat closed up and then pumping breath and tightness upward and out, like his body channeled a high tech company plunger, a light dispenser for five cents a second, a mechanical torso convulsing, limbs like wet newspaper, brain blackened with squid ink a coffee bath overnight. A darkness in ear caverns, the light blinking : a human ornament.

 


Jennifer MacBain-Stephens lives in Midwest and is the author of four full length poetry collections: “Your Best Asset is a White Lace Dress,” (Yellow Chair Press, 2016) “The Messenger is Already Dead,” (Stalking Horse Press, 2017,) “We’re Going to Need a Higher Fence,” tied for first place in the 2017 Lit Fest Book Competition, and “The Vitamix and the Murder of Crows,” is recently out from Apocalypse Party. Recent work can be seen at or is forthcoming from The Pinch, Black Lawrence Press, Cleaver, Dream Pop, Yalobusha Review, decomp, and Inter/rupture. Visit: http://jennifermacbainstephens.wordpress.com/

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