Jessie Carty – Four Poems

Poem Folded to Fit

Fold Down.  Rectangle.  Geometry.  Letters in a sentence formed by X and Y.  The axis is masculine like a romance language of gendered nouns. Fold up.  A box.  Lines.  How did the ancient Egyptians keep their hieroglyphs so symmetrical, so straight?  No one has mentioned finding a ruler in the relics (well except for the mummies, the rulers of the relics).  Lick the envelope.  Closure.  Oh to have a 3-d rendition of words!  More than a page shaped into an origami of thought as if 1000 cranes could grant a wish.


The Boy Who’d Never Seen Snow

God, I was in love with you.
After four hours

on your first day,
I had named our children.

All I knew was your name,
and that you had moved

from Florida.

And bless you.  You
were short like me.

By the second month,
I’d pictured

slow dancing with you
in the gym.

Then it snowed.
I watched you

stare out the classroom window
while we waited

for the early dismissal buses.
There was a dust

of snow, enough to close
an inter-coastal school.

This small amount
was your first.

We shared that
from across the classroom

like a first kiss. A kiss
cold enough

to raise the hairs
on my arms.



The answer is 42
but no one knows the question
except maybe Douglas Adams
and he has left us now
Don’t Panic

Maybe he knew
that 42
on the Periodic Table
is Molybdenum
a super expensive element
that it isn’t even found free in nature

Perhaps he knew that life needed
Something like Molybdenum
to fix our nitrogen
to make us wait
for the perfect moment
to throw ourselves
out of the ocean


Atypical Adverbs

I wanted to go out today
but the world was too wide,
perched wobbly on its horizontal axis.

And, besides, I am vertical.
So straight that even my knees
have learned they must snap back

from any angle quickly. They
do it best while using adverbs,
surprisingly quietly given that

all my joints only studied
Mad Libs. They say, “pick
a noun” when there really should

be choosing a verb and they have
no patience with adjectives. When
they went to picket the haphazardly

spinning world, their signs
said “Liberally Cat Swing”
while the smarter ones, the

elbows, just hoisted photos
of multi-cultural fists all angrily
giving the middle finger to the equator.