The wet of the day I announce to nonspecific
Bodies fill a space to watch
Words make up a language I’m not sure I completely
Understand my cats delicate feeding
Winter muzzle unleashed
To sunny Sunday afternoon
Spent on a roof top in the west loop
And spending what we do not have to begin
Consuming the day to
Become the ones we watch
The hours of each
Announce who enters the space and what they do about it
Where they appear or don’t
Which ones are important enough to be listed
Nothing in the central time zone
I am unleashing the evening into Netflix
Flash Player malfunction
A calendar update and a job interview
A position
I am not accustomed
To emails from strangers who never spoke to me
When I lived in New York
I am not a person you announce
A flavor of the shape that shapes us
Enter the fire exit secret back passage
To another used book store where I find a friend’s ARC
Bleed to nailbeds out to drain a swamp
I’ve a resistant hand to this




after James Loop

news turns on grim
mood of the day becomes
how are you feeling they place a hand on her shoulder
let’s not talk about the dead that way
ask why they are
the dead in our lives remain there
as dead
our lives as useless as they are
couldn’t we just
exhume the bodies of our loved
change them back into the animals
we once were

return the analysis of the living
current mood
dead mouse, slumber filter, count as
the likes pile up
in our apartment we pile our collections
relics of the ages
we’ve been and will never
throw me over and in
the alley piles up
garbage I won’t take out
recycling not sorted right
gets dumped
what we have done is done
to ourselves

what’ve the days built
show heavy absence of snow accumulation
in Chicago
none in the months of January and February
the judge’s non-answers
the mayor’s misguided hand
the president

in her classroom I turn my head
Obama has been replaced
over the chalkboard
a face hangs
its eyes squinting back into the room
watches the children
the children watch
as if to—

we cannot unlearn
the already unlearnable
headshots of former presidents
splayed across the floors
an education
salt trucks deployed
CTA employee with a shovel
I’ve emptied it onto the tracks
my hands against the glass
the train has been delayed
to remove another body

at her first visit to the new dentist
the office has been heavied
by the suicide of an assistant
the woman signing us in is crying
I wish you could’ve met her
threw herself in front of the Blue Line
soft compost
smell of manure along the highway
I’m so sorry

Exit strategy?
I do need the money so I work
salted chicken on a hot August Sunday
she has carpel tunnel from scooping
gelato in the summers in Bucktown
I’ve been there once
we sat on the curb next two twin Yorkies
I think they each had a bowl
no spoon for obvious reasons

cat twitch, elbow grease
the drywall gives and the books fall
it was nice while it lasted
Thursday evenings with no wine
not entirely sure about this important decision
haven’t seen you since the protest

reimburse the strange deficit
his open mouth with your fist
ignite the tired ache
into the air
let free something or other
purple hydrangeas
veinless spring

wildflowering propaganda
radio with a strangers voice I have become familiar with
taking prenatal vitamins but I have an IUD
no plans for it just want my hair to grow
scrolling through flights to Rome
bi visibility
dreaming in color for the wrong reasons
Stepford Wife Vaginal Mesh

threats pile up in an inbox
foolish trolling
glass jar breaks in the night
so we throw a towel over the destruction
leave it for the morning
green glass
I too enjoy a plot twist

Alexis Pope lives in Chicago. Poems and nonfiction have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Hobart, jubilat, Poor Claudia, The Volta, and West Branch, among others. Author of Soft Threat (2014), as well as three chapbooks, Pope works for The Poetry Foundation, and is a mother to a human and two cats.