I think that I wrote this in 2007, or 08. I’ve been going through most of what I’ve written to see exactly what belongs in the book, and what does not.
In the Woods
My husband collects shotguns.
No, I don’t wanna look at pictures of your friend’s baby.
In the gray day he oils his steel
while I stand barefoot waiting.
We live in the forest
and I think I need a haircut,
and I’m bored and too young
(It’s all about priorities, I tell him
and options, I pace)
I’m like a supernova in and of myself
(he can’t take it)
He was running the water,
he didn’t hear. It’s okay, I shrug,
breaking an egg into a bowl.
Your friend and her baby
make me feel like regret.
I never got out of the woods.
Sister, don’t get locked up like me
in some shotgun wedding.
Sister, your sleeting city has forests too
and linoleum-peeling houses, dim,
with him in workboots, stereo blaring metal
(no, I mean like dark metal)
him cleaning the barrel, oiling his piece,
and always he has a wife,
barefoot & full o’ firecrackers,
who pushes all his buttons, whining with her headaches
(“Turn the music down!”)
I tell you, sister, even where you come from
there are houses with guns
and women with holes in their hearts
who can’t look at everybody’s goddamn baby
without tears puckering,
he doesn’t even know she’s on the pill.
He sits in the kitchen, oiling steel.
(Copyright 2007, Jessica James)