Jackie Sherbow


Washing the dishes I received
three cuts on my right
index finger: scratches
from a small sharp claw.
I’d been thinking about how the joke
I overheard on the subway wasn’t
really a joke, how I could only hear
the girl’s side of the conversation,
how she was angry.

At a certain temperature, wounds
the cut on my finger
becomes pink and soft,
a square of skin made different.
The floor is dirty
and the bottoms of my feet
track the dirt along with me.
Looking at my marked body
I can see why the girls
blamed other bodies—
I don’t have their hunger
or their puritanism
or the unabashed
New England winter
and still I want to blame you.

I’m noticing: the spots
appearing on both of us;
my heart rate rising;
bugs in the lamp globe.
Hysteria or a yellow bird
in my teeth or a yellow
bird a yellow bird
and what our neighbors
would say to see
our dirty dirty floor.



Jackie Sherbow is a writer and editor living in New York. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Okay Donkey, Moonchild Magazine, Bad Pony, Luna Luna, Day One, The Opiate, and elsewhere, and have been part of the Emotive Fruition performance series. She works as an editor for two leading mystery-fiction magazines as well as Newtown Literary, the literary journal dedicated to the borough of Queens, NY.