Jayne Pupek


In last night's dream, you were a crumpled paper
in my hands, your asymmetrical wings

unfolding as you took to the sky,
a small wounded bird unable to fly

a straight line. The sun illuminated your body,
and I saw for the first time

the bullet hole, dark and round, barely missing
your heart. Then I understood

your incessant need for sex, for prayer,
for uncooked food. The fields

surrounding my house went vacant for years.
Nowadays I inhabit all the places you dwell.

Sometimes I lean my ear to the ground
and hear your voice cajoling black

ants to finish tasks they've begun.
I spend my days hunched over

the kitchen table, making paper boats
that might carry me across the river.

I long for the land of lost ghosts
and incomplete shadows. Surely you know,

I write our names on each boat.
Inside crayon hearts, Eli, we are still in love.

Jayne Pupek holds an MA in counseling psychology and has spent most of her professional life in the field of mental health. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous print and online literary journals. She has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Jayne is the author of one book of poems, Forms of Intercession (Mayapple Press, January, 2008) and two chapbooks: Local Girls (DeadMule, 2007) and Primitive (Pudding House Press, 2004). Her first novel, Tomato Girl, will be published by Algonquin Books in the fall of 2008. She resides near Richmond, VA.

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