Along the stretch of Georgian mountain basin
stands Jesus, his face a decaying billboard /
he speaks of hellfire and redemption
the end of the world
heartbeat bills and the gay agenda /
holds out his hands to children who follow him with marble eyes
whose palms face the sky /
bold red letters telling me to count my blessings
and save myself /
You and I, we go on living after this /
penitent hands and warm, bendy flesh
because our choices don’t come easy /
so I cut the wire in one place
caress the fibers of my seatbelt before laying my teeth flat
as we cross the border /
scream into my hands
pluck the splinters in the back of my throat
when reading again how blessed we are /
I make phone calls years after your death
memorize birthdays I will never celebrate /
melt sugar cubes on wayward limbs
wear rings of teeth and cords of bone to feel closer to you /
I suffocate on the scraps of her wafer skin
that now stain a road marker in Blue Ridge /
there is a list somewhere among my things
of names that could fit
in the palm of my hands /
In layers of tulle and ribbon
I treasured with every bone –
a frosting-capped finger wrapped
around a sunlit braid,
a wet mouth packed with sugar,
free of guilt,
all bouncing curl and pointed toes
rocking towards the moon on a back porch swing
while clinging to its chains
with hands still smooth from bathwater –
a pair of juice-soaked lips
mouthing HIGHER! HIGHER!
This was before my skin became a consolation prize.
Now, I offer myself in parts –
give just enough away
to make them feel like a winner.
I play games with my reflection to see how
many pieces I can break into -
one piece, a pointed elbow
another, a broken rib.
is seeking freedom,
is a hollow throat unable to scream -
a pair of hands still reaching
for the sun.
Jessica Sabo is a lesbian writer born in Southern California and currently living in Orlando with her wife and two rescue pups. Jessica’s work centers on topics of gender identity, mental health, and trauma, specifically delving into her own experiences relating to a 20-year battle with an eating disorder. Her work can be found in Adelaide Literary Magazine and ChannelMarker Magazine. Her first collection of poetry is forthcoming.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.