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.
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.