The Final One



If I’ve learned anything, it was starting somewhere, allowing for nostalgia, embracing the fantasy that warm days form: the knowing, the final one, the falling


That was OK, launch or kick or wasting time, the surge of slippery lampweed lit by firefly, the ones you bottled gently in your dream, your yard aflame with bonfire, my body a whirl of floral, skirts, a femme spinning


It’s a little more than gentle, instead a surge of fluster, huddle slimmed by seasons, ripples in a pond or whatever put my hand back in your pocket so I can remember what I lost in the first place, the voluminousness of what I’m hiding inside of you, in how you dry the plates badly


The sink held more bowls than we ever chose together, dusty Salvation Army shelves stickered with the gunk of stuff you left behind,


There is no work that isn’t wet work; instead, voluminous, elaborate borage done kaput yet how before begun some dip ecstatic


Get ecstatic, grind yr gears yr gunk grind it get loblolly in this bitch go rigid go topple go slump distraught


How could I drop the memory of you: armfuls of apple, mcintosh, crab


When I tell you the difference between male and female crabs you can’t believe I know as much as I do about estuaries, that I ever took my shoes off in nature but I did back when it mattered to me, to crab, to net a full load of seagunk


A straight girl asks me how many tattoos I have but in a whisper like she’s scared to find out; as I count them by touching them through my clothes she can’t believe it I can’t believe she can’t believe it but she asks anyway I say I will pull down the leg of my leggings right here if you want let me know how you’re feeling about it, how my shorts are always splattered with wetness from my nerves unable to regulate my body temperature I’m just more sensitive my doctor says and poison is so much more than where I laid my limp eager body eager for thirst and drowned by pollen gargaunt, ignoble:

Pour directly into the wound, the flagrant cast iron hydrophilic urge of my body, the way it rusts but loves the slow growth of an earthy crust like a dry summer an empty beach a gone serpent


Empty it into the bucket I store in my body the one you can fill with round stones until I forget my name, have you make me the bed, float into it a salt breeze,


molt: my final form is forgettable but blue like seaglass



Jesse Rice-Evans is a queer Southern writer and rhetorician. Read her work in The Wanderer, Bad Pony, Deaf Poets Society, and others. Her first full-length is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press in 2019. Follow her @riceevans for tweets about chronic pain, activist academics, and Grey’s Anatomy.

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