Alyssa Jewell

Spectral Evidence

The Puritans drew blood from birds, poured it in the stew to cure
an ache, then hung those doom-struck women for doing the same.

I push myself up against the divine every day and no one knows–
keep the love sick petals in my pockets and throw away the thread

that stitches every opening of my face shut. I’d like the light to pour
out of my ice cave mouth to sing alongside the ones I love,

but it’s high and dry in thick June and I’ve got no one to take
the ghost of me into their bed where I’d lay alongside a smart dream’s

closeness that uncovers me whole like an evening picnic, dripping
honey bourbon barbecue from my fingers so it might as well be blood

or salt or all that’s good from the ground as a part of my palms
as it was always a part of those women, those men: lifeless

from the ropes on a hill where now sapling maples grow in a mess
of stones and light in that city they called Shalom.

Alyssa Jewell coordinates the Poets in Print Reading Series for the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center and is an incoming Ph.D. student at Western Michigan University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, Colorado Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, North American Review, Poet Lore, Tupelo Quarterly, and Washington Square Review, among other publications. She lives and teaches in Grand Rapids, Michigan.