Jessie Janeshek


Say an ideal town               black lashes, a horsewhip
                at the top of the closet
plastic Halloween masks      vinyl apron costumes
                all I can do these days is absorb stories
        after auditoriums       fevered horsewomanship
                and you laugh at my three chords and the truth.
The time you dragged me onstage
        with the man dressed like Frankenstein
I wore a Liz Taylor wig       or a Vampira
        so scared I pissed myself
but everything was better then
                driving behind the pizza shop
        a dozen roses that were postage stamps
and how I used ketchup for Christ's blood
        faded green and sat in the yard
        in a dark plaid bikini
the old man could have buried me there
        under his Bradford Pear
but I would have kept dreaming
that you were a dead witch
        who said don't admit process
to the moldy inside of a roller rink.

        Everything feels futile
except working out my arms
        which I never do        it's not ladylike
and don't let my sick fingernails
        stain over these pages
only one lap up the hill
        I associate with bloody underwear
the smoke-stained man and his zither
        the dog I once had
and this time I promise
                no sequined biography
        although I could ask anyone
        how to climb out of this
put myself to sleep             with mint oil and pills
                and reading the phonebook.
There's no universal noir on this mudpath
        and there's a blind cow that dies
               in the back of the truck
        and I'm too dumb to lie now
        or reenact anything.

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