The beauty of the breast at two, at four, at seven, at ten, at two—small hand reining her hair—sharp nails scratching her throat—sure grip fisting her mouth—this chrism in the basement, dim over-seen by three eras of fish, plank-mounted—encaustic gills, razor fins, blessed maw and gaze—Quit, she said, 40xs, do something you love—story nested in every family, even the floundering nuclear—thank you for holding the baby—walking to a waterfall, they spoke—joy spread, so fleecy and dull—cul-de-sac, underpass, she got risky and rash on bridges—looking fondly at each other—breath hitched in gray—called it date, another day—when they returned bacon burned, Al Green, and their baby was so sated in his high chair.
JoAnna Novak is the author of the novel I Must Have You and two books of poetry: Noirmania and Abeyance, North America. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Fence, Guernica, AGNI, BOMB, and other publications. She is a co-founder of the literary journal and chapbook publisher, Tammy, and teaches in the MFA program at Mount Saint Mary's University in Los Angeles.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan