by Allison Jenks

Published in Issue No. 4 ~ July, 1996

My life is half-ripe.
A still bitterness in my eyes
Too conscious if I fake a laugh.

Driving on lit highway lanes with
A heavy bag of love letters
full of confessions to read again.

Picnicing with the burdens of before-
Clinging to a polishing wind
Fastened but frail
I’m Crazily hounded by love’s royalties-
Hiding in Rumors and the flooded dunes
I let men put me through.
Now I’m so addicted to beginnings that I
stretch them on too far
and keep looking for the next whirl

All screwed up about which version of
love I’ve felt is the right feeling but still
Sick and ready to play again.
I play you sedately as you slip
on my over-spiced laugh
like you’re not Vulnerable to all
this freakish world’s ecstasy.

Believe I’m screaming.
I don’t look at calendars
Tv. Never. Dressed in defenses.
I haven’t worn a watch in years
this huge part of me is bent-Irrational
Guys are always telling me that

With every stroking of your freakish Talks
Quarells and kinks stoop over me
Unfastening my dinosaurish kisses.
The feelings have all been there
in the beginnings but wasn’t it all
just about timing.

Night pulls down it’s Sandalwood skies on me
I sleep into night to avoid
This Yawning land.
I still don’t want one
Dimensional minds
At least I’ve learned that much.

I’don’t watch today as
Sage and crimson casually pour
from my Glory-full chin.

My stomach Sings loud operas of that
loud, squirmy jive we live
when we’re in love.

The greenness of the piano
warms me with
the brilliant strength of
Tough November leaves.
I can’t play the notes
though I feel I should.

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Allison Jenks' poems have appeared in : New Orleans Review, Art Times, Wisconsin Review, American Literary Review, and Midwest Poetry Review. She was a James A. Michener fellow, awarded by John Balaban, at the University of Miami's M.F.A. program, where she was Editor In Chief of Mangrove.