Tulips lift toward the sun
not as lips parting,
but cycloptic eyes, self-blinding
to defy dozens of faces
that peer directly inside,
expecting the return of some
preened reflection – a smiling
twin, mouth open to say some-
thing of how it feels
to kiss one’s self in the mirror,
then gossip about the licorice
on your breath, your aptitude
for culling unsaid words with anisette.
Tulips pull toward one another,
as halves conjoined by funhouse glass –
contracted lungs that cannot distend.
Their swallowed tongues trigger reflex,
taming two pulses in one shared breath.
Jessica Furtado is a poet, photographer, & owner of the popular Etsy shop All You Need is Pug, whose products have been featured in Fortune, Daily Mail, InTouch Magazine, FYI Pets, & Cesar’s Way, and whose shop was noted as an Etsy Featured Seller. Her work has previously been published under the pseudonym JJ Lynne, with photography and micro-poem collages appearing in CALYX, Muzzle, PANK, and The Brooklyn Quarterly. Her writing can be found in apt, Hobart, A Narrow Fellow, Rust + Moth, Spry, and Stirring, among others. Jessica is co-editor of poetry for the literary journal Paper Nautilus and works by day as an Early Childhood Literacy Librarian. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs.
When he had finished writing, and crossing out
and standing and rewriting, and looking
out his window, and feeling the sun
I stood and watched you sleeping, had
stood there watching for nearly five minutes in
the shadow of the
hallway for nearly five minutes of circus
time before I dropped your purse on the chair, quiet as death
If I could, I’d use
my recently purchased cell phone
to call the pay phone outside
the community swimming pool
in Fairview Park, Normal, Illinois,
that summer when I was eleven,
and the country 200.
It was the night we were told we couldn’t pretend we were Catholic.
The priest turned only toward you and said, “It’s between you and God.”
And you cried.
I dream of her,
childish and illogical,
straight hair and tiger-eyes.
My punk-rock gothic-pixie little sister fourteen fresh faced
We listened to The Cure during art class Made bongs and pipes
out of ceramic You taught me how to kiss people who could
never love me
Supermassive Black Hole swallowed your cackle-low
Cosmos whisper pretty Come here darling and you come
I hope I never forget that pack of middle-schoolers
at the playground near my house, how they acted
like middle-schoolers, shouting their conversations
across the neighborhood as if showing off new sneakers,
the boys doing mean things to the girls,
the girls saying mean things about each other.
head, right arm
behind the back, fingers
curled around the left arm’s inner
We all live on the Hudson, America’s only true river. It’s
a driveway, a landing strip, and a dead end. The Hudson is not the only river
to become a school, but it is the only one once beheld by the likes of George
Washington, Melville, and Sir Winston Churchill.