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Jessica Ankeny

A Woman Might Get Desperate. A Man Might Get Proud.

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Cut beneath the jaw line and roll the skin down:
take the vocal cords out.
Split the flesh at the hip crease. Pull the muscle
around the thigh, leave the femur.
Sampson needed one to protect himself against the Philistines
before "love". I might need one myself.
Need a bone, not love.
No, scratch all that. He used the fresh jaw bone of an ass.
Pull the jaw out then, we already have the incision,
put it next to my hand


for emergencies. I have one. I tied it to the bed
with seven newly cut ropes
and its strength didn't leave. It lied to me.


I can't get rid of the almost-exploded-feeling. Fine then,
turn a piece of wood into fire
and melt my eyes. Starch the inner organs so they can hold
themselves up. Stack them between the ribs like trail markers.
Braid my hair seven times then shave it.
Put me there, by the pillar.
We'll get out of this together.


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the bore, the bore, the bullet
the bore, the bullet, the hollow
the hollow
the swab, the need
the need
the need, the barrel
the chamber, open the chamber
the bullet
I chamber you, you magazine me
the swab, the need
you hammer me, I bullet you
the hollow
clip, clip, clip
the need, the barrel, the bore
the bullet, the bullet, the bullet
the bullet

One Simple Step to Keeping a Clean Gun

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Even if the magazine is dropped. Even
if you didn't cock the hammer back. A bullet
can be ready
even if your hand is not. A chamber is for secrets.
Open it anyway. Otherwise, there may
be a hole in the lamp shade
and through the wall. A hole into the berm where your father
is mowing. It may miss him.
There may be a draft in the living room, always.
Even if the opening
is far too small for air.

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