3 Poems by Jenna Vélez




pan rabbit and wine

here the doors screen you before you can come in
sometimes children skin their knees
on the blacktop fresh like raven sap
there was always grass that never let you whistle
but danced if you liked

if you listen hard enough
you hear the summer congregation of fireflies
like ember fairies in the blueberry sky

drive faster and no deer can touch you
out here where the woods are more familiar
than the city of unfounded freedom
ringing in your popped ears like corn blues

creeks flowing with the brook trout traffic
backed up like route bluer than her valley forge eyes

here is where i fell in love with the trees
that poisoned you before they let you climb them
and the bliss that smelled like pine forest winters
lake eerie with the sound of war-torn ghosts
and a bethlehem jesus never knew








ode to a minnesota summer

there’s an ease about a maiden summer
not yet ripe or swamp-skinned
the southern humidity not yet
rising to meet pennsylvanian woods
where the heat glues the trees together
glues the people together


but there is a soft and gentle breeze that carries
buddy holly on a radio and sweet sun tea
it whistles with your hair like blades of grass
and whispers in my mother’s childhood songs


it doesn’t know the bees are awake from their sleep
and the dragonflies meet us for dreamy peach cobbler sunsets
while mosquitoes hum through the thick muggy air of twilight
this is mozart’s unfinished cricket and cicada symphony
warm, static cling skin and vibrating ceaselessly
but for now we enjoy the breeze
that carried dandelion wishes and kitchen clanging
on its winged back
beckoning the lake to cool us off










i see a woman with hips like the wind
and half moon eyes
she is a sway branch, hair like willow
she calls and comforts and cries
she says my name like a curse
like a love song
like a blessing
like a eulogy

i walk to her
barefoot and ghostly
nightgown and night sounds
i sit down before her feet unseen
hovering over the dewy earth
i weep and throw up and beg
for protection, for peace

she carries me back to bed
nothing but a song to move me
and the room gets bluer and bluer
and the air is gone, not a breath to be gasped
by the morning i awake
and sing with her
a mourning song



Jenna Velez is an emerging Latinx poet from suburban Philly. She lives with an absurdly large tea collection and her anxious 3am thoughts. She currently runs “The Northern Bruja’s Grimoire” column with Pussy Magic and “By Death, She Lives” blog with Rhythm & Bones Press. She tweets @northernbruja and can be found at jennavelez.weebly.com.

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