blood-red nails tiny ferns or creek-side bloodletting
he swears rain is coming
and, oh yeah, she’s pregnant
and they name all their kids after each other
ink changing color, blend in
and their defense is to present me
as a wild woman in red on fast horses out of our time
but I know every minute of every week
toward the moor or the seashore.
You say I’m futuristic but I’m cloyingly nostalgic
well-read in the gothic abandoning
the conga line of bleached blondes to forcefeed the dying cat
Christmas crackers and charades
and wink if it’s a murder plaid pants and my father’s failed guillotine trick.
If you have time I’ll teach you stuffed with sweet pecans
otherwise you can look in the clear purse
with the blue gingham pocket for secrets
vampires haunting New England
and Vampira on late-nite TV.
I wear a wig like hers but I’m not starving you
in my smart suit in my flowered shell
and all the good noirs take place by the Hollywood Bowl
a minute per page in the trick house we hear them
except the one where the girl falls off the boat
in her stolen furs
and you gut a dog to switch on your sex drive
and I waterski to our eroding island
sex twice in the summer a middy dress play
so even when her coat’s shiny I won’t forget she’s dying.
I pray for an earlier night no matter what
I pray to come in the storm in a full-skirted green dress.
I’m saving it up for the riverbed chase scene
for the wasp-waisted Los Angeles rainbow
for the end is immortal/immoral
for the femme fatale exits unscathed.
Jessie Janeshek’s three full-length collections are MADCAP (Stalking Horse Press, 2019), The Shaky Phase (Stalking Horse Press, 2017) and Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). Her chapbooks include Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press, 2016), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press, 2016), Supernoir (Grey Book Press, 2017), Auto-Harlow (Shirt Pocket Press, 2018), Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming), and Channel U (Grey Book Press, forthcoming). Read more at jessiejaneshek.net.