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After teaching poetry at the safe house, I go to Starbucks & read the USA Today &
Jennifer Jean
Writer of the Month



find the worst ego-

is conceiving a baby
to have sex with the baby. 
This was 

done. (Can the news be
neutral?) At the trial, the word
“love” was uttered 

by her mother
about her father
who “carried forth the plan”

(Isn’t that delicate
What’s wrong with that?).


Is everything word worthy? 
Is a poem a manifest?
If you can see in the dark, can you still die? 
If this is a light in the dark, will it bind you?
Will words wrapped around a crime end the crime forever?

I don’t need to know everything. 


Isn’t that delicate
phrasing? Isn’t that the “pleasure
principle,” reader? 
I’m just asking 

& you & you & you…). & I
am spinning! & they’re 

just saying 

love is relative. The body, 
useful—is just stuff



What do you put into the chest of a poem? 
What treasure, what disease?
Will someone die today for lack of what is found here? 
If this is a light in the dark, will it bind you?
What is the purpose of the news? 

When I point at you, three fingers point at me.

Jennifer Jean’s debut poetry collection is The Fool (Big Table 2013). Her new manuscript, titled OBJECT, was a finalist for the 2016 Green Mountains Review Book Prize. She is the recipient of Waxwing Journal’s first annual Good Bones Prize, and she received an Ambassador for Peace Award in 2013 for her activism in the arts. Jennifer’s work has appeared in: Crab Creek Review, Rattle, Denver Quarterly, Mud City Journal, Solstice Magazine, and more. She’s Poetry Editor of The Mom Egg Review, Managing Editor of Talking Writing Magazine, and Co-director of Morning Garden Artists Retreats. Jennifer teaches Free2Write poetry workshops to trauma survivors and to sex-trafficking survivors. For more information, visit: - or follow Jennifer on Twitter and Instagram: @fishwifetales