By: Jessica Sabo
I wrote another one about you – rainwater flooding a low-lying city, how a radiator sizzles when caressed by wet hands – and promptly reminded myself that after 2 years and 78 poems – poems that weigh heavy and waterlog, poems that speak of the dead – I was supposed to have extracted you from my bones. I called us a war zone, a silent afterburn. We were a breach, a midnight bomb drop leaving no evidence for the veiled sunrise. There were poems of vultures circling their prey. Instructions on how to silence a lark. A ruby throat. A voice. I unhinged my jaw for you, turned my throat into a wildfire’s landscape. From my bounty there were pieces of rotting fruit to feast on – hornet nests, spider bodies. I gave you my body. I gave you this: graffiti and gunpowder and a sweeping plantation. I bled saltwater and blame, was wrung dry before being put to use. In these poems our secrets decayed in the Chesapeake summer and by fall, reeds swayed in preparation for uprooting. You were the body of a shipwreck not quite sunk, unable to sink. And I, unwilling to drown.
Jessica Sabo is a former classical ballet dancer and writer whose work focuses on the intersection between eating disorders, trauma, and sexuality. Her poems and essays have appeared in publications by Weasel Press, Inklette Magazine, and the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, among others. Her work has been anthologized with ChannelMarker Literary Journal, Adelaide Literary Magazine, and Damaged Goods Press. Jessica was selected as a finalist for the Adelaide Literary Award in Poetry in 2020, and was named a semi-finalist for a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship that same year. She is also the author of a chapbook, A Body of Impulse, (dancing girl press & studio). A west-coast transplant and Virginian at heart, she currently lives in northern Nevada with her wife and two rescue dogs, one of which has wings.