Poetry/Creative non-fiction/fiction

My Modern Self November 22, 2011

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 11:11 pm
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When I pull off the interstate in New Britain Connecticut,

My GPS says to turn right. I am on some sort of main street.

I see an abandoned Wal-Mart, graffiti on a cement wall that reads

Go Back, a red box, and beige apartment buildings, nestled so close

In overgrown grass that the children inside play in the streets. The

Urban sprawl is all the same picture of loneliness.  The same grocery

Carts, the same red open signs that chafe my eyes, the same gas stations.

The same people. Glossy eyes, dry lips, shaky hands, everyone has a

Forced agenda to survive next month’s bills and wash up before dinner.


I’m a dollar bill among trillions of others. Used and re-used. Crunched

Up and flattened with each new purchase. I’ve slid from every hand.

I’ve laid in the palm of Idaho potato pikers at harvest, been tucked

Inside black bras in Vegas, been stepped over on 22nd street New York,

And left on white table cloths in Detroit diners, so the waitress can afford

The gas home.


At times, I’m easily found. A bill asking to be grabbed

From a lost wallet, but mostly more easily lost. A dollar

Stuck in the dryer vent after a Sunday wash.

I’m measured by the amount I can buy.


At night, when I’m free to sit alone, no wall clock whispering

Of duties. I can’t sit still. It becomes a chore to pose cross-legged

On my bedroom floor, palms open on top of the inside of my knees.

I address the silence with an uh-hum, and try again, to wait for

No-one but myself to show up.


Forgotten Dishes November 16, 2011

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 4:26 am
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She ran the red iron across another starchy white shirt.

Its nose snuck in between each button, down each arm,

and across the back.


The electric heat reminded her of their honeymoon. The

days when his voice was something that burned her insides. Now,

his words just dropped. They were treaded over and pressed

into the floor, like crumbs from Sunday dinner that she sweeps up

and throws in the trash.


That evening, as he snores, she lays on her spine, gazing up at the blank

ceiling.  She rolls onto her side to face him. The wrinkles at the sides

of his eyes seem to stretch upwards in a smile. Those are new, she thinks,

rising from the bed.


Downstairs she gets a glass of water and stares into the reflective glass

window above the sink. She furrows her brow, she sticks out her tongue,

the woman in the window does the same. She raises her right hand,

stretching each finger straight, she holds it there for a few seconds, then

in a progression from pinkie to index, she pulls each finger back into her

palm. The woman in the window does the same.


Finally, she puts the plug in the sink and lets the faucet weep until it almost

spills over. She dilutes the water with pink dish soap titled Spring Blossom.

Waves are created as gravy crusted dinner plates slip from her hands, one by one

they dive into the water. Her head shakes as she grabs the green edged sponge,

no wonder I  couldn’t sleep, she whispers.