Thursday Dec 13

Jill Khoury earned her Masters of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Sentence, Prick of the Spindle, Menacing Hedge, and Harpur Palate. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize twice by Breath and Shadow: A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature, and has a chapbook, Borrowed Bodies (Pudding House Press).  
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Shorn
 
 
I want it off, I said
He sent the clippers’ warm teeth up my neck.           
 
The windows shook.
It’s going to be one of those storms where the streets flood.
 
Hold still or else I’ll fuck it up. I held my breath.
Purple tendrils landed in my lap.
 
He turned my face
to the mirror. You like it?
 
I swirled my palm over
my newly soft crown.
 
More, I said. He scraped the straight
razor over my scalp.   
 
He took his time, lifted each ear
carefully to get behind.
 
 
 
 
Inventory
 
 
My hand is on your shoulder
to guide me down into the dark.
These stairs have no railing.
On the landing, we find
the record player, needle
missing its diamond.
The cookbooks’ pages
dog-eared, food spattered.
Who arrived with this one?
We can’t remember.
I would cook you dal. You
made me miso soup, with fresh
white fish and nori.
 
We reach the basement floor.
I find the pants with the hole
in the ass. You tried to pawn
these off on me without telling.
Was that some kind of joke?
They’re hung up
by the ankles.
 
The blue tape that marked
a hopscotch grid peels
from the ground
to ascend like a ladder.
You say, I’ll climb up
and hand things down.
Your body disappears
into the rafters.
 
I catch your friend’s
scary succubus painting.
The noise when you broke
all the plates. I find her letters
to you from when we were still
together. You say I don’t know
how it happened.
 
It’s my turn to show you.
 
The junk drawer of overcast days.
Small discontents
we’d each been hoarding.
We look inside
the industrial trashcan.
It shows how you, drunk,
walked on all fours
and barked like a dog.
 
I reach through a hole in the wall.
Sandwiched in between the lath: the night
we drove two hours to the country.
You named the constellations
with a flashlight.
I shot a popgun at the sky.