AGNI Online
  Subscribe      Donate    Stay Connected    Submit      About Us  


by Jill McDonough

I write about yesterday, bicycles,
Caltrain. From the single seats on the upper deck adjacent
tracks pour off into the distance, a child’s
exercise in perspective. Today’s foggier than yesterday; from
our new windows, newly washed, you can hardly tell
there’s a bay. Wool socks and sweat pants. Considering
New Perspectives on Idleness, considering Writing,
brushing my teeth. Yesterday I heard
Tom’s college roommate slept with
my best friend from high school. Also
about Adam’s wife’s uterus,

flopped back on her chest in the c-sections. Gray ropes
of small intestine, pale flaps of subcutaneous fat. I told them I
saw Cherie’s through the porthole into the Portland hospital
E.R.; Cherie, smiling, holding her little red baby, numb
to the bloodbath south
of the surgical curtain. Kids today; we walk around and see
these kinds of things. Worse, we talk about them.

These days we think we need
a little luck, buy chipped statues of the virgin, an embroidered
portrait of Christ revealing his embroidered heart, on fire.

What is that, a strawberry? asks Alka, for real, now, not
so up on Christian iconography. Christ, sliced
open, red thread incision showing red
thread heart, red flames, blood. Today

cumulative, enormous, everything that happened up
to now stretched out behind us, everything
we think we know. Or just
today, today in lower case, half over, just junk
mail and fog, greased chain, rusty gears. Toothpaste,
parti-colored container ships, bright cumulus
clouds rising up or moving
west across new windows, newly washed.


Jill McDonough, a three-time Pushcart Prize winner, is the recipient of Lannan, NEA, Cullman Center, and Stegner fellowships. Her most recent book is Where You Live (Salt, 2012); REAPER, her fourth collection, is forthcoming from Alice James Books. She directs the MFA program at UMass-Boston and also directs 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center online. (7/2015)

End of Article
AGNI Magazine :: published at Boston University ©2008 AGNI