Pigeons upholster a wire. The sky diffuses, apricot to
coffee-ground black. I pick off my nail polish like it's
my job, don't— quietly— don’t, don’t eat exactly sixteen
grapes (every night.) Amalgamate skittering thoughts;
midges in a net. Me step-grandad sold cigarettes from
a dispenser on’t kitchen wall, smoked most ov ‘em
‘is’sen, lungs congested wi’ cancer, treacle-like tar.
I backspace a comma, consider a semicolon. Below,
a streetcar bells. Its Tristan chord stacks an augmented
fourth, sixth, and ninth above the bass, elicits a wince,
like chewing lime when expecting tangerine, segments
riddled with pips, maggot-white. My maine coon
rearranges his coat on the arm of the settee, spine turned.
Cats don't worry about being seen as antisocial, walk
away when they've had enough human, will stalk a wiggle
of string, suspend disbelief, imagine a vole. My shoulders
are up to my earlobes, the stiffness of over-pumped tyers.
You visit, undisclosed. There’s a better way to cook.
You are glassy. You are lavender in my pillowcase. Later,
water stutters, kneads me. My voice will never be moreradiant than in the bathroom with the shower on full.
Jessica Popeski is a Classical Voice and Creative Writing graduate from Brandon University, where she was awarded the Silver Medal in Creative Arts for her thesis, Big Sky. Sickle Moon. Her poetry has been published internationally in Acta Victoriana, The Cadaverine, carte blanche, The Irish Literary Review, Canvas Magazine, Boston Poetry, Room, Leaf Press, The Nervous Breakdown, Hart House Review, The Windsor Review, Harbinger Assylum, and more. A recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, she is in the thick of an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph, and an English tutor at Humber College. She published two chapbooks with Anstruther Press in 2015: Oratorio and The Wrong Place, which made the syllabus of an undergraduate Creative Writing program. She was raised, for the most part, in Moscow, Russia, and Sheffield, England, by her mother and grandmother, and writes poetry in Toronto.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan