Simone Muench & Jackie K. White


Fingering the flesh wounds, fumbling, false starts
assail you. It’s autumn. All we invent
is another ending. Yellow singes orange
scraping the blistered rage. That old palette

of ruby and rust. You said no, he said yes. Your voice
weighed less. But it stayed, darkening the curtains
of that house where each room’s a contusion
built of disillusion. Leaves pressed like hands

in that familiar gray smear, like test splotches
splayed on sterile white. You tongue bite to keep
the anger they want from becoming ochre

revelation. But let open the gash,
for you are the coup de grace, the gas fire:
the red conclusion to autumn’s impasse.

Simone Muench is the author of six books, including Wolf Centos (Sarabande, 2014). Her recent, Suture, includes sonnets written with Dean Rader (BLP, 2017). She is an editor of They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing (BLP, 2018) and curator of the HB Sunday Reading Series in Chicago. Additionally, she serves as chief faculty advisor for Jet Fuel Review and as a senior poetry editor for Tupelo Quarterly.

Jackie K. White is a professor at Lewis University and a faculty advisor for Jet Fuel Review. Recent poems appear in Tupelo Quarterly and Superstition Review along with collaborative poems published or forthcoming in Pleiades, Isthmus, Posit, and Cincinnati Review. She has published three chapbooks and served as an assistant editor for the collaborative anthology, They Said.