Or so she says. The poem’s a lie
of green, an assurance of a clean
bill of health, a hope to carry on
and all the rest. The future bright
as speckled eggs inside a crowded
nest, no poaching crows in sight,
hoarse with hunger for your tender,
willful being. The softest skulls,
those juicy with desire. The urgency
to smile for the shot. You spread
your threadbare plumage to conceal
the fire damage, termites, rot. The thirst
within keeps you from coming clean.
Conjure, promote, you’ve rigged it
with a wire—now you see me—and
remote. Control to the last, the scene:
your pastoral, your pal, your fiction,
everlasting, blooming green.
Jen Schalliol, a Chicago native and Pushcart nominee, received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her chapbook, Means of Access, was printed through The Kenyon Review, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salt Magazine, Landscapes, decomP, Gapers Block, RHINO, Farrago’s Wainscot, and elsewhere.