Echoes upward, Jessica
Upward,
angels hearken; the bark

of thunder, and flash of
light, the rain echoes upward,

Jessica where skin pulls taught
from the face, she thinks that time moves

awkwardly, like the storm,
unflinching in its brutality,

takes the sky southward,
leaves those already left behind

again. She can't forget,
can't switch skins for

someone else, she is just
solid liquid, harbored so long

and un-spilt, a chameleon castoff
far away from your peripheral vision,

she looks unwavering, looks steadfast,
wolf-like, tongue shriveled, singing

softly a song no one else knows. A
cacophony, storm dead, storm reborn,

another winter cracks open like an egg,
sizzles openly in the fetid grease of summer,

she licks her lips in lopsided bows,
fornicates with the day glow yesteryear,

forgets to remember, reminds herself
to forget the pit of her body hollowed

out like an empty pill bottle, lost but for
her name etched in neatly professional typescript,

she wonders who she would be if named
something else, if someone else

could cut her soul from the flesh of
her diamond spine, if she could sustain

as vertebrae, and not soiree
the portraits are perplexing, dear one

kids dressed up in formica frowns,
their gowns all Christmas lights, and toenail

polish pink, the skin on the underside of
your eyelids scratched up in the fetal shell

of those few seconds left before the ending,
a posh fini to the dirty poem.

A lush kiss on the cheek like French girls,
skirts hiked high for the boys who were too

afraid to do anything but look, a penny for the
last time I saw you, a penny for your thoughts.

a/n: she died nine years ago today.