Madness is not the only art that consumes.
In our mind, rooms, and in them the scuff
of footsteps and faces veiled in tulle.
We unpack, and pack, and pack these rooms
until a man shaped like sense forms to
give his approval. But do you approve
of this man – his pin-straight spine and incessantly
scratching pencil? Pinel watched his friend
go to the wolves and found a calling
in that moment. The brain hunger called
to the friend, offering something of comfort,
of nourishment, but the wolves made a meal of him
before he could find them. Imagine your favorite
part snapped up in a wolf’s gnashes – your calves,
your cheekbones, sharp as compass coordinates.
Could you identify yourself once gone to pieces?
In daydreams I’ve entertained the thought
of moving to the woodland, unpacking,
and packing, and packing a plot by a den –
my bed in the earth and lined with stale ashes.
The wolf would come to me then, rest
his chin on my hip and pledge loyalty,
defense – my friend in a sleek jacket
of deception. Am I a fool to trust this beast
in beast’s clothing? To pull the pearl from his lips
and see a beautiful omen, despite knowing
that it is ocean-born – stolen? I expect to play
the fool to his magic, to applaud the performance.
One day I will wake to find teeth at my throat,
a jaw clamped to my wrist – feeding,
and feeding, and feeding the madness.
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.
I have never slaughtered a pig.
My hands, though slathered with a sheen
Of melted flesh, are swiftly cleaned
With a simple paper towel.
The cottonwood trees watch. Whisper. A
lyrical business, theirs. Bored by the Wind
River, they turn toward the termite-nibbled
The Pacific begs me to swim away, anything
to keep us from strangling each other
on the boardwalk. The Freakshow
is where our love belongs, a two-headed
oddity feasting on dust and bone
This is how pleasure goes marauding
thinking twenty was happy
thinking faces you won’t believe
wrapped in a smell of hand
When she reeked of distraction, a dozen fools
set out to decant her childhood.
You work with doll pieces and cigar
boxes. Mirrors reflect limbs
suspended on toothpicks.
It’s easy to forget how weird Elvis was, sitting in the Atlanta airport on a Sunday morning, Viva
Las Vegas on every screen,
lined up at the bar with fellow travelers recently notified that alcohol is not for sale until 12:30 this afternoon.
Come chill with me and watch a show
Tonight, whenever, I don't know;
We'll listen to the new J. Cole,
And I will judge your nipple mole
look back, look back
you will be Rorschach
a print of a man
She’s not my aunt by blood,
so I’ve a chance to taste her.