A History of Demons

Jake Sheff


A knot of shadow
and obscene snow. Contingent
occurrences lose
to love, their coffin.
Pure of heart, the night erupts.
A bird is promised

erotica’s mist
or miscue. Summer’s shadow
rescues the erupt-
ing knack for urgent
joy and fescue. A coffin –
or, how mornings lose

their voice’s hazel –
combusted. Aging promised
itself a coffin –
or, gated shadow –
to age out in. An agent
of none too corrupt

summer sighs abrupt-
ly; outages come too close
to power. Fulgent
trees keep the armist-
ice dry. (Raincoats foreshadow
stars in paraffin

wax.) Springtime’s coffin –
or, autumn au gratin – upped
the ante; shadows
dropped like angels. (Los
Angelenos look promised
winter’s contingent.)

Summer’s cotangent
crucifies snakes. A coffin
nicknames the lamest
good deed Nick; erupts
without a good death enclosed.
The ocean’s shadow,

cast loose, interrupts
the coffin’s contingency
shadow. Spring promised.



Jake Sheff is a pediatrician in Oregon. He’s married with a daughter and six pets. Poems of Jake’s are in Radius, The Ekphrastic Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. He won 1st place in the 2017 SFPA speculative poetry contest and a Laureate’s Choice prize in the 2019 Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest. Past poems have been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize. His chapbook is Looting Versailles (Alabaster Leaves Publishing).