sporklet 15

Brett Elizabeth Jenkins


antarctica fucked me up today / all those penguins / jumping up and onto ice floes / dapper men in coats and hats / setting foot onto the seventh continent / i had to cry / when i think of a frozen, unencumbered continent / i think of my body / when i think of my body i freeze up / if i could fit between icebergs / in small channels / or sail into the color blue / i could become untethered / my body is not owned by any country / my body, protected by a treaty / someone somewhere tries to keep it safe / if it's me i don't know it yet

Ode to Unemployment

In the morning I water my plants. The basil

has grown sideways into the sun—little leaning

Towers of Pisa on the sill. There is still nothing

to do. I sit and ask the Google Home questions.

The cat scurries and slams into things. I wonder

how it is possible to want so many things and still

want nothing. What I want is not graspable. I want

to drive my car to Nebraska and have a troupe

of homely circus performers take me under their wing

as we drive from parking lot to parking lot. I want

to be one shoe on the side of the road. (How

does that happen?) I want to want things the way

the basil wants the sun. I rotate the plants

and they begin their slow and steady lean.

Everything is All Fucked up About Me

Everything sounds like a bad idea.

I have so many bad ideas. Ideas become choices when

you put things inside your mouth. My arms are too

long, I think I am about to knock all my paltry self

confidence off the coffee table. In the night I crash into

the coffee table. In the day, too, I crash into the coffee

table. Can you use the term fumble if it's not a football

you are dropping? I don't want to infringe on sports guys'

rights to words, but I fumble every damn thing I pick up.

My knees are bruised like the color of dark sand. Everything

is all fucked up about me. Excuse me, ma'am, you have

a piece of corn stuck in your hair. Thank you, I say

to the stranger in line behind me at the CVS, Thanks,

I say as I plop down this Snickers bar and Preparation-H

in front of the cashier. It's going to be a wild night, I tell her.

Brett Elizabeth Jenkins lives and writes in Minneapolis. Look for her work in The Sun, AGNI, Beloit Poetry Journal, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere.