a lost
head dunked in a slow river

T believes it is a girl, not a snake
like N, headless too but still swimming

This will be the last time
I let anyone touch my head, threaten
to tilt it into water

I’d rather be a headless snake, a neck
with a red crown

Mark me and count my teeth, toes,
tongue bumps

Place me in the middle to soften

Position my body as a track,
as a thin stream of loud tea

T is with you forever like tattoo,
trauma, tune in your head

Turn me into a mirror, a space
for you to trap light, arms
rising up to make
the illusion of a head

Trace a line from the past
to the future

Draw a table and sit at the head
of it, draw yourself a roof

This is not a test, it’s a trill
to let you know I’m still here,
tang in my mouth

JENNIFER CONLON holds a MFA from Arizona State University and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was awarded the 2017 Katherine C. Turner prize from the Academy of American Poets, the 2015-2016 Aleida Rodriguez Memorial Award in Creative Writing, and a 2016 fellowship from The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. Her poems have been published by or are forthcoming in Blue Earth Review, Meridian, Bennington Review, Poetry South, Heavy Feather Review, and elsewhere. Jennifer lives in North Carolina.