Jill Mceldowney




I was a wall of teeth.

I was asking for


 a lesson.


There is an intimacy only found when violence stops being

a game

and starts meaning—


“Just say the word.”


It is my turn to become a storm flag or it is the end of winter,

that month of ache.

I have learned it is possible to live a long time with a wound.


I am game in the worst kind of way.

There is almost no sound to my body’s way of making a contest

out of impact:




jar of bees.




I am better prepared for that surge of contact,

of hand to body.


What I mean is I thought I knew

the silence that goes on

like a horse after the rider falls.


JILL MCELDOWNEY is the author of the forthcoming chapbook Airs Above Ground (Finishing Line Press) as well as Kisses Over Babylon (dancing girl press 2016). She is a cofounder and editor for Madhouse Press. Her previously published work can be found in journals such as Vinyl, Fugue, MuzzleSonora Review, Whiskey Island and other notable publications.