Jill Alexander Essbaum




for jennifer carrera bognar

The beekeeper’s hut. The square, shared
lots of the neighborhood gardens. A
cemetery plot. A child’s white coffin. You
slip past them all with the old lamplit
longings. But tonight the stars are skyless
and your eyelid is scratched and you’re
crying. You pass a pack of sheepdogs. A
barn.   Barbed wire. The sole, open
window of a small yellow house where a
wife in a shoddy red robe has mantled
her hair in a towel. (It’s never. Or now.)
And the city signs. And the welcome
mats. The fact of a placard that spells out
a speed bump. Apple trees ranked on the
shoulder of the road. Do the sunflowers
know they’re eclipsed by the moon? You
can’t go home to a hell. The bench on
the hill seems to sob. And church bells
bang like pans and pots.


Photo Credit: Lexi Clarke