Jacob Schepers is a graduate student in English at SUNY Buffalo. His work has appeared
or is forthcoming in Verse, PANK, Sleet Magazine, Emerge, and Eunoia Review. He lives
with his wife and son in Amherst, New York.


You have to write
the poem you have to write

The poem of settling scores

or prairies with fists
or Conestoga wagons

Of potato salad made
Grandma's way with real

for picnics, a success
picked fresh from
the dry goods

store on the only
road around

for miles—you have
to write the train tracks

pre-train tracks era, caring
only a smidgen for

the way the steel tastes


May all your Bathshebas
find the best moonlit rooftops

and your leather jackets
always stay punk rock

Let your husbands be hare-lipped,
your palm readings free,

for when you look closely
you may find consolation

in the second-place finish
when saving

leftovers for lunch

Overplayed Minuet

A lady lies dormant in the corner of the
room. She is a piano. The
piano is in the corner of the room.
The lady glares with glistening black eyes.
Teeth bared.
The sharps and flats of her gums
accentuate her mouth.
Viva seducción!
She is a little girl. The woman. The
piano. She speaks of her dolls. Then
her first day of school and then
Some say she talks too much. Says
too much. But with such a body as hers,
who wouldn't flaunt it?
Piano sounds so nice.
The girl so sweet.
The lady takes it upon herself to please.

First the piano must close its legs.

Common Courtesy

To lessen the pain
of finding out,
court summons ought
to be delivered

with pizza or Chinese
takeout. A speeding ticket
should be paper-cut
proofed. These are

the worst kind.
For the bodies found
and their loved

ones, please sprinkle
potpourri. As always,
embalm with Pine-sol

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