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 is the author of the novel, Tomato Girl (Algonquin Books), and a book of poems titled Forms of Intercession (Mayapple Press). She resides near Richmond, Virginia.

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