Jaclyn Dwyer

Love Poem Without Love in It

The best part of you is the stuff
I can’t !10! touch, the stuff I don’t want
to even see. Your burnished
teeth and rib bones !25! waiting
to unfold !25! on a grill. Your
whole !25! body is an impatient hand
closing around me. !10! The bricks
beside you !25! shriek !25! against
my guilt. !10! Your God !10! always
has a big G and mine is small
and guarded. !25! It is too cold
for charcoals. Didn’t you ever
hear of a braise? Wetter than broil.
What more !25! can we do
with a stillborn !25! lamb, even
on Easter. You wager !10! the farm,
bet a new ark !10! will come !10! while
I beg !25! for one more child !10! to fill
my body !25! so that I can become
someone else. Finches are greedy
but easy !50! to raise. Everyone
has those same !10! dimples in
the small of their back. Your
daughters. You. !10! A place to dig
two fingers in. But !25! all I can
see is !10! your hair collecting snow
like dust, white and lovely and lost.

Jaclyn Dwyer is the author of The Bride Aflame (Black Lawrence Press, 2019). She has published fiction and poetry in a number of literary magazines, including Ploughshares, Sugar House Review, Indiana Review, The Journal, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, New Ohio Review, and Witness. She is Assistant Professor and Director of Creative Writing at Malone University in Ohio, where she lives with her husband and daughters.