Jennifer Jackson Berry


First session we brought the puppy,
weren't supposed to.

We're hung over, so damn
hung over. You take her back

to the car to sleep & I sit
through questions about firm hands

& being the alpha dogs
an angry mother of four asking

about crates & pads & piss.
The puppy bounds in the door first,

unbridled licking—
beer spittle off the faces

of friends sprawled on the floor.
I forgot the puppy was supposed to wait

for us, understand we are the leaders
through the threshold.

We go back to bed.
We're alpha, we throw the parties

& even when we're on all-fours,
we're in control.

We don't find the threshold
all that important—

neither of us ever imagining
anything bridal.

Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of the chapbooks When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications, 2014) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press, 2003). Her poems have appeared in Harpur Palate, Stone Highway Review, Cider Press Review, and Connotation Press, among others. Her work is slated to be included in various anthologies in 2014, including We Will Be Shelter (Write Bloody Publishing) and By The Slice (Spooky Girlfriend Press). She is an Assistant Editor for WomenArts Quarterly Journal and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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