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Jill Alexander Essbaum

She was slattern and ash.
Hoarfrost on thorn.
Vinegar and hyssop.
A hiccough. A fuck-up.
No matter. No factly.
She was a casual exactly,
Habitually plastered.
And every havoc that had her
Disastered her.

She was a cat on a trash
Heap. A baby and a trembler.
In transit or in trouble,
Ever one or the other.
She was the warning
Your mother tried to woman you
About. The dementia
You presented with.
The misfortune you’ve resented,

Since. She was ankle iron,
Ironing board. Bored and forlorn,
She was horny, sore, and cheap.
She dreamed of doors and ceilings.
A creamy, skin-deep bything.
She was a mouthful of dirty
Words, pretty as pain.
She was the staple
On a centerfolded page.

She was a swiftlet nesting
In a stew. What she did to you,
You let her do. Like the variegated
Musk of ambergris, she lingered.
Her particular taste
On your tongue and your finger.
She was linen white. And
Rubbish red. And maidenhead.
And fantastic in bed.

But now she’s dead.

Jill Alexander Essbaum

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