Confession #16 by Janann Dawkins
I carry death in my pocket all day.
Enough to stun a bull moose,
a nurse would tell me, enough to turn
a black hair gray. Some part of me
knows this, twists it away like a pruned neuron.
All day a singular desire lies against my skin,
my companion on bus rides down one-
way lanes & maple-dappled boulevards,
I've done it again, the trick of waking, the routine
of scooping poison in the purse, the caffeine
draught from the styrofoam cup. My lip
is an accomplice. Mutterer in my sleep
& waking hours, my mouth confesses
in a Southern drawl. Death is no secret
but no one speaks of it, not even
in Tennessee. A creeper of grasses,
the weevil ingests cotton. Investments drop.
Whole fields defoliate, stripped to stem.
Janann Dawkins' work has appeared in publications such as Existere,Mezzo Cammin, Phoebe, Two Review & Up the Staircase, among others. Leadfoot Press published her chapbook Micropleasure in 2008. A graduate of Grinnell College with a B.A. in American Studies & twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she resides in Ann Arbor, MI.