Two Poems // Jennifer Jackson Berry


Yes, my elbows are on this
communal table, but damn it,

I know what a quenelle is—
I’m not some flash in the pan mash-up.

All my appetites are healthy.
I’m tip-to-tail, everything & the squeal.

I’ve had the farmer you hire,
your fish guy sustains me.

Plant me, lure me, foam me, cure me.
I’ll be back for your prix fixe next week,

knock on wood—on this beautiful,
reclaimed from a whorehouse, wood.


Every kiss begins with cables
& pullies, heavy lines

attached to left wrists, raising
hands to near shoulder-height.

I will not show without force
my fourth finger empty, no bones, no

one’s seen it circled with anything
but age rings. Old maid, one slayed—

same. I am Sequoia.
I am Redwood. I am a necklace

of every tortured pulpy center kept
for way more than I cost.

Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of the chapbooks When I was a Girl (Sundress Publications, 2014) and Nothing but Candy (Liquid Paper Press, 2003). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Booth, The Emerson Review, Harpur Palate, Moon City Review, Stirring, and Whiskey Island, among others. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.