Mark Jackley is the author of four chapbooks and the full-length
collection There Will Be Silence As You Wait. His most recent
collection is Lank, Beak and Bumpy from Iota Press. He lives in
Sterling, VA.

As the Marriage Closed

The deer, a doe, had leapt
into the barbed-wire fence.
Horrific marionette.
But the worst of it
as we tried in vain to help
was the bluebird sky
whose song amid the muck,
what pulsed and dripped and bled,
was twisted steel itself,
urging all to live.


Barefoot in the grass,
the length of me

I am the pole,
you the beans
creeping invisibly
toward the stars

Milk and Eggs

Our vows are dead. In their place,
keep it small-scale.
Use simple declarative sentences
to tell me real things.
Plain words, too.
Like "milk and eggs." Say,
"We're low on milk and eggs,
I'll be home soon."

Days After Learning You Cheated

We take a bath, embrace
ass-down in the tub.
We resemble a giant fetus,
one with dripping tits
and sagging balls, a deformity
with two heads, two hearts.

God, in all His cruelty,
is prescribing love.

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