Jennifer Hanks is a recent Sarah Lawrence graduate living and
writing in New York City. Her poems have previously appeared
in Glitterpony, Anderbo, and Stirring: A Literary Collection.
Girls Who Can't Distinguish Between Past and Present
She talks about a man with
a reverence for skinned knees,
a summer of dead moths,
her heart a train looping
on a stale track.
She says, Inside me these tides never quiet.
Some nights, we walk into the cold
with our hair still wet,
some nights we eat pizza in bed
while she tells me I have the limbs
of a girl who will leave her.
I used to be a bird with feathers like spoiled cream.
Every night only one thing is the same:
the moon watches her and no one else.
Something We Can't Answer
I think they are those kinds of dreams:
The world written over,
Blue threads fill in the sea,
The moon emerges as burning wood.
We are covered in ashes
that curl on our skin and ask us
"What does it mean for a voice to open?
What does it mean for a heart to lie still?"
We wake up and our covers
have fallen to the floor.
What Was Left
It was a hole in the floor.
You could not step around.
You couldn't even fall through it.
All you could do was look,
not even stare properly,
chewing off your lipstick.
Maybe what you saw was star,
Maybe it wasn't even a star,
but the quiet grammars stars make,
an alphabet made
entirely of S's traced
in the dark they left behind.
I called you light-struck once and you came to me,
back to this muffled world,
your eyes crusted with capital letters,
a vision in stretch marks and brine.
"We used to try each other on," you said,
"Remember, I touched in you all the wrong places
until your hair parted like white bread
and you were dangerous."
Listen, you say, your lover is a ghost promise. Every night you die
like a wave out at sea.
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