2 Poems by Jill Bergantz Carley


Soft Tissue


Tonight the animal of my grief pads down the hallway in a light blue nightgown clawing a cold bottle of white and the end of a roll of Brawny paper towels, the kind that are perforated closely choose-your-own-adventure when I drop them not a single muscle cares: I’ll retrace that path in the late of night cracking open every window a wish for one cool breeze upon my cheek; the earth owes me that much at least last week almost etherized I spread my arms for a scrub nurse deploying soft restraints a little horizontal crucifixion I awoke wombless  mine own bloody coup finally: do you understand I will always trace this low scar my fertility no longer a dark mark against me a threat made love to me in bed I am the last of me and I am wanting a warren in which to keep my heart I would crawl to the ocean on my knees I would leap from the bridge in early light there is a razor edge where I end and time begins and it will not begin anew with me, let me spare you this neverdaughter, let me be the death of you.




Five Star Review for a Cordless Rotary Tool


With the diamond-edge Dremel blade I gave you at Christmas; you
deserve beauty; you
told me to hold still left palm up standing naked at our bed; you
cut the ring square off my finger, ease-steady with a sureness I’ll never know,

The suddenness and the surprise of the welt wringing the raw skin where my wedding band has lived since the evening you placed it on my finger under an arbor of mistletoe crashing the oak branches under which we took our vows,

kiss, now, the world goes, asking quietly,

The reaction of your body to mine a stiffening and a steadying were you even touching me or was it the extension of your fingers small buzz saw sharp as day light 

it was my own arteries pumping away,

The whirr of your machine it radiated to my heart; I
am feral, darling; I
am making Vantablack dark jokes; I
am crying about absolutely nothing; I
am an all-consuming vat of fear and I
am the photograph of a black hole in our universe and I’m
hungry or I’m vomiting and my fear is a branch of forsythia the cold day it vaults to a caution yellow soft as gold.


Jill Bergantz Carley is a Pushcart-nominated poet living in rural Northern California.  Her work has appeared recently in ENTROPY, OPOSSUM, Collective Unrest, Okay Donkey, Headlight Anthology, and elsewhere.  She’s very, very left-handed, which makes this poem even more uneasy; she trusts her husband a whole damn lot.

jillbergantzcarley.com ✏✨
@jbergantzcarley 🐦
@jillbergantzcarley 📸

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