Two poems by Jennifer Cie • Empty Mirror

credit: em/p. blenkhorncredit: em/p. blenkhorn

slip

tuned to miss damita jo jackson
slip tuned to miss damita jo jackson We go deep And we don’t get no sleep Cause we up all night bubbling out the radio. The turn too loose on the gas and heavy at the wheel is too heavy on the gas with not enough grip at the wheel. We roll slow. Something like how they used to be in purple collared shirts yanking up ice lumps — chocolate and mint my last picks of 31 flavors. This feels good. The way we turn in. Wheels skidding not spinning, heart banging on the ribcage loud, smile full, the axel doesn’t; doesn’t press us out. It’s calm like how the trolley used to tote us up and down the mainline back before we got packed full in the Honda — before we remembered him — on trips down to the gas station on Elvis Presley Boulevard cause everywhere else, back then, back then. Gas 99 cents? Goddamn. I could spit. She wasn’t playing back then. Back then, back when kids didn’t drive. Back then when I was a kid that couldn’t drive. Back then on the ramps when we coasted slow. Back then. Back then before We go deep And we don’t get no sleep Cause we up all

remember

1. Green men with shaved faces.
1.1. Brown clocks with flashy birds
1.2. Silver plane wings from before
1.2.1. They came from blue men in the floating box
1.3. Ss-tu-tt like in the city but not like we’re home

2. New, big rooms, one—once had a white paper sign
2.1. We couldn’t read, yet, so we played in it anyway
2.2. Metallic sculptures with blinking lights
2.2.1 Mostly red, but in the car, we counted five white
2.3. Fffffoar like fort but not like you’re home

3. Tall, stout women and quiet, bored men
3.1. Even with pictures, we don’t remember them
3.2. Pink lemonade in limited edition plastic cups
3.2.1. Quiet. Both hands around the cup. That is how to ride on the trolley.
3.3. Ssnn iif like cry but not like this is our home

4. Grey whirs of static pulsing gray chunks of fur
4.1. The house was small with a little hill for our backyard sledding
4.2. White box dripped on each setting, it did little to cool in summer
4.2.1. The new, old, three story if you include the attic opened next
4.3. Miiimfiss like the city, but not like it was their house

5. Square boxes—brown, green, yellow, black-gold from the liquor stores
5.1. I put them in cars, on flimsy shelfs, under milkcrate beds, and $200 annual sales
5.2. Uncrossed, angled left, crossed, angled almost right, never folded un-shoed
5.2.1. That is how I sit on all the planes
5.3. Souuuoosh like swoosh, but not like knowing home.

Jennifer Cie

Jennifer Cie (she/her) is a southern writer that embeds pop-culture throughout her work to preserve the histories of marginalized peoples and examine the idea of place beyond physical location. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Philadelphia Printworks, The Nasiona, Portland Review, New South Journal, and elsewhere.

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