Poetry by Rachel Jepsen

 

Roosevelt, Utah

There was little change worth mentioning. Just trouble. Paraffin would come up and blind off the shakers,

flooding everything over into the catch. Trouble that year, all over. Boys like you from Casper, Fort Duchesne, McGregor, Zahl. Boys all. The flood showed up in cracks in the counter days after you’d ragged it down. Checked the gables for dead birds. Shook my ankles mudded in the sheets. You said don’t worry, it’s harder to breathe in the wildlands near Casper. May as well be water, you said. In Roosevelt a lady at the Chevron told me life is an awesome country. Move through it awkwardly, with devotion. She was sorry to hear about the rigger but it isn’t a crime to go missing. You told her you’d looked in the brush for a spot of bone. She said it’s hard when you want to find it.

Having lost the advantage in leaving things out, in Wyoming I’ll take a brush to the back of the house you grew up in. The creek will sweat. Dogs’ chins twinned on the sill. The day, a day again.

The past, endlessly.

 

untitled

 

For Thomas Derrick

If it is bird, it is a question of bird. Bird her. Make of her.
Marry her. The spell of the scientific is in its being outside
grievability, the hollow surf of oil only something to regret
when you lose traction. So love makes of language the same
quick innovation capital can. We repeat fables until they bend
us to them, the pretty binds of the purgatorial eliding the hiss
of steam off parked cars with the pale that lets a ruby beat
above us. This is the work, to abide by a social becoming,
to pretend what we have and stand nobly the working-wise
aesthetic.

I have been guilty of being deceived. Of a winter risen
in slaughter I have been not so sure. Who is the guest, who […]


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My Affair

He stops at the park to piss on the grass: Here is
where we were then.

The prayed-for hyssop, the prayed-for scalping
of a womb: This is what we were then. […]


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Rachel Jepsen holds an MFA from the University of Montana. Her work appears in The Bennington Review, the Chicago Review of Books’ Arcturus, and Storyscape, among others. She can be found at www.racheljepsen.com