C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

In the Tall Grass; My House, Your House; Facts about Honey

By: Jessica Dionne


In the Tall Grass


I have hidden your keys in the pocket

of my green dress and so you follow

me in. The car is pulled off the dusty road

just enough, I pull the blades back like one draws

the heavy drapes. You step where I have stepped,

our shoeprints making maps of tiny

worlds wet in the earth, and so we are

gods inducing destruction on the whim of a walk

through a field. We keep going, away

from the road, away from returning phone-calls

and keeping up appearances— 

not needing them anyway, as we are golden

in the tall grass, never aging.

When it begins to drizzle you grin

at me through rain-gaps, through the blades

that shield your face as we stay dry,

covered by such arching fronds.

At night, we sway, dance in the strands

until we fall to the ground like seeds.

We pull up the dirt like sheets and sleep. 


My House, Your House 


Once there was a body and it was a great,

good body—full of breath and bite,

chestnut acres of skin wrapped ‘round

thick violin string ligaments, thrumming.

But the day came and that body died

11:01 AM on a Tuesday.

First the eyes clouded like a mystic’s

crystal—and what could they see?

Next came the build-up of bloat and the body marbled

that choice slab of granite, the expensive kind.

Then the lungs, which had only ever smoked

fifteen cigarettes crumpled like discarded brown bags

that used to hold your average groceries—produce, eggs.

The tongue—etched in taste memories:

a cube of sugar, clavicle, yesterday’s rice

shriveled like a dried peony pressed between pages

Then the chestnut skin turned leather,

the body’s last autumn

where it fell to the earth, turned,

and the black beetles moved in.



Facts about Honey 


I.

My sister once told me that bees have a waggle dance,

the figure eight points the way to fields, yielding nectar.

She said this over grilled cheese, and Maury, but all I could

think about was the time at the campground, barefoot

& sunburnt, when a bee found its way to my shoulder, kissed

it hard. 

II.

I can’t recall what all she told me

about tasting nectar with legs,

or the life of the queen,

but I’m thinking now of honeycombs

multiplying and how bees represent fertility—

Goddess Vishnu—blue bee on a lotus flower. 

III.

I’m thinking of the times right after sex

I laid with my legs above my head

of how I made sure to orgasm to make it count

of when I tallied the days I was most lush

of how I wished to be pollinated

of when I thought to coat my womb in royal jelly

of how I was busy

IV.

of when I became worker           drone                          I became the queen

of how I cast the others              out of the hive

of when I survived                     the winter                     but was all alone

of how I mourned                      something                    that wasn’t mine

of when I fed                               on larva                         until I died.

Jessica Dionne is an MFA candidate at NC State and she received her MA in Literature from UNCC. Her work has appeared in Rust + Moth, Banshee (IE), Mascara Literary Review (AU), and JMWW. She received a writing residency from the Weymouth Center of the Arts and Humanities and she is a 2019 Best of The Net nominee


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