Poetry/Creative non-fiction/fiction

Permanence March 26, 2012

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 5:09 am
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Anitya:  impermanence, a belief that to understand reality and relieve suffering one must accept that everything is in a constant state of change.


In a damp parking lot again, your bare arms touch mine.

You take me inside, give me your bed to sleep in.

I have a dream you are beside me. You, on the

couch in the next room.


My love, like melting dew or retreating tides. We have

changed. I am not nineteen in your red sweatshirt. You

are not asking me to move to Seattle. But, why do the

songs I sent you  every day for five months still sing you

to sleep?


Where are we now?

Not the beaches or the Best Western or the parking lots, but now?


Please understand that I will never be that girl on the beach

again, but I will be me. And I have felt your breath drape along

my neck on  Oregon mornings and traced kisses from your blue

eyes to your mouth that pressed permanently into my skin.


Rain turns to snow to ice to steam, but all is water. All

has been us. Us clasping and releasing. Us extending

then retreating. Us apart, but always feeling.

You telling me, I’ll see you again.


Glass March 21, 2012

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 11:29 pm
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The ICU allowed us to visit past

eight at night.  The entire wall facing

the nurses desk was glass.


When my uncle, bloated like a floating fish,

Skin yellow like harvested wheat, breath

heavy like wind squeezing through door

cracks spoke he stared at the TV.


I sliped both hands around his. I stroked his

skin with my thumb. He felt warm, like

sun passing through a window.


I don’t remember ever touching his

hands. Maybe as a child he held mine.

Led me across black tar roads to

Smith park or balanced me up loose

gravel hills during a hike in Victor

at grandpa’s cabin.


A nurse droped in to get blood.

He didn’t watch- “thank you”

He said.


He couldn’t eat or walk. He  barely

breathed, but he spoke to me. How he doesn’t

know how he ended up in The hospital. Reminded

me that my mom died in her forty’s as well, and said

his daughter isn’t mad at him anymore.


He kept talking about my mom.

I told him he has her eyes, her mouth

maybe even her hands.


He was tired. Tubes stuck out of his arms nose and neck.

He blinked at the TV where a man charms a snake. I

stood and kissed his cheek. I tell him I don’t say it as often

as I should, but that I love him. No one does, he whispered.




Moonlight March 7, 2012

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 4:57 pm
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I never saw you touch the lawyer or the

baker’s wife. Never saw you look at them

with eyes that pet and plead.  But five days

before your anniversary,


when Lilly’s hands sunk a bullet into her spine

that stuck until the day she died, did you feel

it too? The lead like bleeding ink in a constant

pinch down to her feet.  The twist


of something lodged so deep in bone and flesh

that it grows invisible to all but you. Because you still

feel it breathe. You’ve tasted its smoothness on sleepless


nights with lovers that coo and touch but never give

birth to something that lasts. But leave. Like


sunlight on your face. A moment of warmth that

escapes.  The holy moment when skin meets skin

and you, the feeler,  feels what it means to ache for

someone else.  To grasp onto a climax that can’t be

spoken, only sensed in the space of a blink.


When the moonlight disappears into sun and you

alone lock your door up tight. So no one can squeeze

between the spaces, and you don’t speak or leave just

sit and stare. I can feel your loneliness. The self-inflicting

shots of lead meant to leave holes through chests and weight

onto backs that doesn’t end but stays.

And lasts.