Poetry/Creative non-fiction/fiction

My Disease June 19, 2011

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 1:53 pm
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You are a rash with no name,
crimson bumps across my skin.
An odor of dead fish, a numbing
voice of lies, a shadow
that makes me shiver.
Our last night together tastes
the way itchiness feels:
the way Jeff Goldblum itches
when his body morphs in The Fly.
Flies don’t itch.
The dozen roses you surprised
me with in June have all died.
Your pretty-boy money couldn’t
buy you love, and because you loved
me I hate you now.
The Devil’s beating his wife:
the noisy rain of intimacy and loss
burned our hands.
We were as honest as Charon,
rowing the innocent underground.
I was young when we drifted down Styx,
but what were you?
Next time you dream it won’t be a kaleidoscope
vision of my face.  I won’t exist there, after
the sun drops below our feet.
Je veux le monde- the whispering grass,
the bleeding sky, even the rashes that spit
scarlet shaded diamonds across skin.


Dear Religion, June 18, 2011

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 3:21 pm
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The moon has drug her fingers into your plans of control.

She clenched her claws so deep into your spine that you cant

remember how to move me close.


Don’t let me hear you speak in barks again.

I’m sweet, but I don’t kiss dogs.


At twelve you made me believe you

were serious. Those messages stored

in bottles that turned up in foreign caves,

but those phony instructions only

exhaust posies for the faint.


I’m licking this envelope closed on my own.

It tastes like salt drips from your eyes.


God damn the stillness of tonight,

it reminds me of when you slipped

into that stone costume of silence.


I wish your words still sang, instead

they grow mountains covered in

snow. When they melt the floods

will come. I’m lost in your whip lash,

but I’ve learned to float.


If all of it must end then why do you cheat?

Why move the pieces away from

my sight? I know they are there behind

your blush colored sigh.


I never asked for stocks in your

empty spaces but here I am today,

boasting in their lack of existence.


I’ve beat my craving for cover out, let the delicate

sight of forgiveness pass by, and generated enough

self-light to finally pat myself on the back for peeling

off the mask you tied behind my neck at birth.


Sinking June 14, 2011

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 7:45 pm
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 His brown hands grip a leash leading

a bulldog along the shore. Waves wash

his feet, droplets cling to his skin leaving

salt lines like jewels up toned calves.


Women glare behind sunglasses at the dog

they wished they were. Pulled, moved, turned,

by a man such as you.


Swim trunks draw low around

cozy hips. No shirt, only bare ridges kissed

 by suns lips.


I stand to catch the view. The craving

pushes me below the sand. Legs, chest,

and eyes covered, mouth engorged

I suffocate.


How My Twin and I Grew

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 7:39 pm
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…So we grew together

Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,

But yet an union in partition,

Two lovely berries moulded on one stem…

~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Close to 1996 I try playing G.I. Joes with you and Brian, the hallway

                        carpet is a battle ground of bleeding soldiers.

                        I can’t make the correct “ugg” or ”pshh” sounds like you

                        two can, but I don’t have to- my female cobra commander never dies.


Close to 2002 when mom dies, you go outside and roll on the ground, refusing

                        to leave. The couple we barely know from church lead us to their

                        car so the adults can discuss funeral plans. I stare at you while we eat

                        stale cheerios at their two chair kitchen table.

                        You don’t speak to me.


Close to 1993 we put snow hats on our peach fuzz heads and tell mom

                        we are leaving. The front door opens to snow drifts

                        reaching the door knob. I grab my Barbie purse, and mom

                        slides boots onto your feet.


Close to 2009 I hide a goodbye letter inside your toiletry bag the

                        night before you move to Salt Lake City.

                        Tears dribble down my checks at two a.m., and I

                        secretly wish we were going to the same college.


Close to 2006 our step mom screams until her face is scarlet. Dad moves us

                        across town into a two bedroom guest house. At night we huddle

                        next to the living room vent, and you read me Oscar Wilde.

                        Your spine aches from sleeping on the couch.


Close to 2010 we spend the summer apart for the first time.

                        We communicate through poetry and cell phones.

                        In August you pick me up at the airport, and I notice

                        whiskers on your face.


Mothers Breakfast

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 3:02 am

Your straw hair pulled to the side

of your head in a bun, messy

as it sits on your night gowned


You butter toast and stir

steam spitting oatmeal

making sure that we all eat

before the yellow bus pulls

us away.

I kiss your cheek and say

goodbye, not knowing

it would be the last time

we share breakfast.



Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 2:28 am

Like dew, clinging on
a blade of grass, I will shine
then in a blink, fade.

Stale, like sleeping in,
he whispered that he loved me.
Why did I listen?




Bear River Massacre June 12, 2011

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 2:27 pm

The road winds through the valley

like a knife.

We hit the Idaho border where willow trees

open into bloody fields outlined in sage brush.

You flip off the radio and we hear the faint

cries of dead Shoshone. Sunlight drips

onto leaves and prairie grass freely sways,

bending to the beat of drums.

Time pauses, and stillness eats my words.