sporklet 9

Jenna Cardinale

The Hook

Everything trending is terrible,
except for maybe
the Black Panthers.


When is what’s important also

what’s popular. Are there accurate

diagrams for these feelings.


We don’t discuss the murders—
their photography—
at our picnic.


I soaked the pineapple in rum.
It doesn’t assist our discussion
of “normal names” like Charles


It’s easier to have this
conversation in a room
decorated by flattering mirrors.


Have you heard

the new song.

Can you feel

that beat.

It’s Been a Privilege

The air was cold.
Behind a wall of glass
stained with thick steam.
Under whiskey. Hot
talk of “alabaster goodness.”


Now June. When the roses
pop and suddenly so
much green. First
burns beside the ocean.


Is whiteness only
a season.


Do you know what I love

about polar bears.


It hurts to touch
it, this skin.



What feathers are expressing
is mostly about painting.
But there’s also a lesson
in weather, in the why around
the power lines.


A seagull falls onto the sidewalk,
beakless and butterflied.
I haven’t seen a brand-new
baby since we all became
so bright.


In this creation story, humans
wear supernatural masks.
They appear to be—they become—
other animals. Or
impressive plants. Cunning

or growling.

Blue Tag

Before the window
holding the rarest objects
we have discarded—


The way in which

I object. Sometimes



To be more effective
than furniture.


To be more

wise than lace

covering furniture.


Intricate &

often yellowed.


This thrifted judgment
scratching &
too tight.


It’s hard
to create
a costume
from all this.


Really. How


Jenna Cardinale is the author of a chapbook, A California (DGP, 2017). Some of her poems appear in Reality Beach, Pith, Verse Daily, and Mascara Literary Review. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she’ll always want to take you on the Cyclone.