Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

— Virginia Woolf

After Watching Seventeen Miracles, then Running

by Jeffrey Tucker

Orange, California



The best explanation


is that I am wrecked

laughing at handcart

pioneers dropping into graves

they chiseled into frozen

earth. Behind me

a woman gasps

watching the round

British cheeks peeling like crepe

as they face Wyoming

winds. But there—

gaping mouths fill with snow

before disappearing in red dirt,

and I snicker

through my teeth.


Then comes shame

like ants up my leg

and I want to slam

my head, hands, something

hard onto something hard.



Running over the hill

the steep one lasting

a mile, I stop.

A chain of sidewalk

ants thread a hummingbird,

emerald and eyeless

on the pavement. I trace

my thumbprint with its needle

beak, each fleshy ridge catching.

The body is light as dust,

perfect shining bullet.



When I die

I will be buried in white

as is our custom.

I will have my face

(though not

as it looks today)

and I will have

my eyes (perhaps

stitched shut).

I imagine feeling incomplete

if anything at all.




Also by Jeffrey Tucker: Ara to Autumn #4

JEFFREY TUCKER’s first full-length collection of poetry, Kill February, was recently chosen by Sage Hill Press as the winner of their Powder Horn Prize; the book will be published before the end of the year. His work has also appeared in Poetry South, Jabberwock Review, Rhino, and elsewhere. When he’s not writing, he runs.


The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.

—Cervantes, Don Quixote

© 2016 The Indianola Review