Jan/Feb 2012 Poetry

III. Usurper

by Rachael Jennings

III. Usurper

You'll find my Penelope,
white arms bare and threaded

with veins that lead nowhere,
green blood, bile green, spent.

You'll find sand dollars instead
of rent, and toss them into green-

mouthed waves. You'll take over
the tower like ivy, lice, funeral

processions on nameless streets.
The fishermen watch you grow

wealthy—you living off my
language, scaling words like sea

carcasses. Here, fishermen stitch
themselves into ragdolls, pin

themselves onto shores—for fear
that they would leap into the sea,

should she offer. You'll watch their
bodies splash like punctuation,

while you plot out how to take
their posts—never leaping, yourself.

Gnawing at skeletons, you will devour
while marching up and down stairs,

singing a song you've lifted from
an echo. Home also I cannot go.


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