“We swallow antibiotics as indiscriminate as our pesticides
And vote which color to paint our bombs.”
From Jessica Henderson
You wear too-small shoes to the interview and get the job.
I’m looking forward to working here, you say.
The wallpaper creeps up the ceiling.
Time without end, every breath drawn and quartered.
The overlord lifts his gaseous head and belches
You fold post-its into airplanes and wait for your shift to end.
They’ve been doing it for centuries.
Here you are, walking around with your mother’s face
And every day you follow the tread
Of rushed morning, drained evening
Orbiting the larger wheel
Of rushed childhood, decrepit age.
Put out your square of light
And go to sleep.
We swallow antibiotics as indiscriminate as our pesticides
And vote which color to paint our bombs.
Kill them all and let the gods sort it out.
Our only sacred groves are powerline fields.
After a while
Every wail sounds like a laugh
Every birdsong an elegy.
Curling up at last
You watch the dark foliage shimmer on the covers.
Let the hills meet overhead
Let the moon pull you away.
The earth, midwife, catches the children of the tree.
Pick up a pinecone and bury it
Here, under the trellis
that was your ribs.
Jessica Henderson grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in Boston. Besides poetry, she likes painting, reading, and dancing.