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.
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.