Jesse Minkert lives in Seattle. In 2008, Wood Works Press published a letterpress collection
of his microstories, Shortness of Breath & Other Symptoms. His work has appeared in
about forty-five journals including the Georgetown Review, Confrontation, Mount Hope,
Floating Bridge Review, and Harpur Palate.

Red Spot

Points of hips and shoulders
heels hands elbows
rubs back of the skull
skin shifts as if
some softer inclination
were inches out of reach.

A woman and a question
made perhaps of words.
Under her skin her skeleton.

Here is where her eyes turn away
the audience reduced to her.
What acrobatics perform between her ears
what story's left her tongue to tell.

Dirt Governance

Galileo's dead eyes peer up from his tomb
toward a copper sun.
A leaf falls, pinched between tires' treads.

Won't stir itself to peaks, won't colorize the shades.
An aperitif he seems to say for what the market bares.

Won't colonize the shapes, won't regard a skimmer
on a patch of frozen water captured in a blackbird's
mouth amounts to less than mention.

Finishers break tape as if an object of significance
should arrive with blood replacing blood.

Here is where his treason burns
into his children. His muscles groan
against his most judicious granite.

Music splays his face plays loud
in his lungs but fades in the air between.

Galileo's perfect torso wakens
the worm who swallows time, regurgitates
the sensible result he had so reckoned on.

Errant & Truant

Our capsules leak heat from torn cavities
collect tears 'til rainfall cools the season.

A child emerges warm above the waters.
No one shows alarm no one knows enough
to levitate above the torment.

This interval's a waste upon the wise.
Through the window the afternoon sun
blasts the eyes from ninety-three million miles.

We mutter our order to the maître d'.
(What secret does he hold below
the surface of the cylinder?)

Luminary Compartment

Our adventures begin with fingers burning
on the money. The expedition clings like slime
to the trail. Topical ointments soothe eruptions
on the skin. Sores grow like children cowering
at the mountain's base.

Overhead, a contrail sketches along that curvature
that shoulder of the earth from fifty thousand feet.
Glide path turbulent lights winking through pollution.

Episodes of solitude overnight delays. Our agonies
deposit a soapy film on the colors of the day
dye fading rinse and wring.

This will offer a measure of posture
when faces in a mirror shift,
This will open doors, feet touch floors,
but stumble when carrion birds dive from the sky
to snatch our children from our arms.

Their splintered talons clench as if slandered
in the night. Cursive gestures impel their dizzy spin.
Remnants splash at our feet hover to suckle breath.
Incandescent limbs rupture like porcelain chameleons.

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