Jessica Harris is in her third year of graduate school at Columbia University. She is working toward her MFA in Writing with a poetry concentration.
A Portrait of A Dead Fox
draped in a girls arms.
A time when a man loved me,
A farewell I could not
find for him, recalling all
of the candles we started over.
I know his hands
that repeat themselves,
diving between my sorrows.
His body comes next,
overturned against light.
I stagger to a place
where my profile
locks with his shoulder;
heave and rising,
that made the earth feel
like honey running
through my skull.
the moon now on its own
pounds in that place,
waiting its drop.
They are all different, these spectators of my body;
famished infernos, wearied by
balancing one world in the teeth.
I have no house and no room to hope for one,
no strength to silence the shakes running
wild across my body.
Ambition has never been such a muffled thing.
The flatness in my reflection,
a land stripped of its lakes and valleys.
There is too much definition
in the pale atmosphere around me;
I fray like a cloud hoping not to pass.
Sublime riffs give no pleasure,
but I can remember when they sloped
toward me like sails.
Within me, roaches are devouring
the crumbs. Mutuality is not
so easily defined as by its lack.
How often I wish I could be given one more doing,
I would end rehearsing the setting of half-moons.
The grackle outside swallows
its song and coughs out
a cry. I forget that sound
as easily as wind is divided by stone.