about the author

Brett Elizabeth Jenkins currently lives in Indiana with her brother and her cat, Marie DeSalle. She just graduated with her MFA from Bennington. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Anderbo, The Medulla Review, Writers' Bloc, G.U.D., and elsewhere.

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Brett Elizabeth Jenkins

Erica, tell me again about the green couch, the cold
room where the fish froze to death. Tell it to me so good
I feel like you’ve put me there, a tiny

careful doll in a house barely holding onto its
attic. When I learned of the midnight flames, the stripped
porch, you finding the place where his body was, I

learned you; I learned what ghosts can say. Tell me
everything. Tell me the panic rising like
a flood in your throat, the terrible

sunlight painting the roofbeams. Tell me before it happened.
(Even birds keep vigil if they must.) Tell me again about the sweet air
kept stored away in your ribs until one night in

early summer when it woke inside you,
electric with its gusting. When you stood like a
prayer in the firemen’s boots,

waiting for whatever it is we all wait for when we can’t
right ourselves. Tell it to me. Tell
it to me again. If you can’t get the words out,

try until you can.
In those moments you stood collecting air under your bones, did you
notice the horizon neatly

gathering your favorite colors like a bouquet.

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