Two Poems by Jennifer Wilson


they want you

to smile

politely, say


and just


your tongue

lest you bite

it off


the weight of

what tells

your teeth

to move

to make sense

of itself

or show

its understanding

of how

the oven



of this sort

are not


for girls, so

brooms assume

a gender

and take

to the floor

pushing bones

aside with soot

and cleaning,

making neat

the furnace

for its fire.



from the oven, fingers

from blisters form

as the skin remembers

before the fire.

mostly they recreate

the pain & writhe

catching the coldness

of the air in gaps

between their

blackened nails.

there was something

more, but what?

states of matter

are meaningless

when emptier of feeling

than the furnace

is the body

as it strains.


Jennifer Wilson lives in Somerset, England, with her husband and spends her days as a faceless retail drone. Her work has previously appeared in Awkward Mermaid, Chaleur, Fly on the Wall Poetry, & Molotov Cocktail, & is forthcoming from Rhythm & Bone Lit's YANYR anthology, Elephants Never, and Feminine Collective.

Illustration by Theodor Hosemann of Gretel pushing the witch into her own oven.

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