Two Poems by Jennifer Wilson



GRETEL


they want you

to smile

politely, say

nothing


and just

hold

your tongue

lest you bite

it off


letting

the weight of

what tells

your teeth

to move

to make sense

of itself

or show

its understanding

of how

the oven

works.


operations

of this sort

are not

suitable

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.





HANSEL


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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