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Jill Alexander Essbaum


6 February 2008
Vol. 7, No. 4


I shall be brief, but frank,

Terse if not curt, aloof, though unswerving—

What little we had amounted to nothing.

The Nyctophobe

4 February 2008
Vol. 7, No. 4

It's a furnace of the first place, fever of mine.

The mattress can't be trusted. I suture shut my eyelids.

I align my terrors to their predetermined brinks.

But the bed that is my boat, slopes lee side,

Then sinks.

First Fall

2 February 2008
Vol. 7, No. 4

Then Winter.

Then Spring.

Then came those seasons

That splinter from the seasons.

Then came the ring

That I wore without good reason.

And This Is What Happened

20 November 2006
Vol. 6, No. 3

That was the year I thought

I was going insane. Help, I said plainly.

I am having a mild case of the heartbreak.

When I looked at the fissure, all was glass and mistaken.

Despair Is the Only Unforgivable Sin

17 November 2006
Vol. 6, No. 3

O holy terror of a night, this mad,

  malicious night, a supine night, bright

as bile, but anyway, inauspicious.

  Bedraggled night, delicious as doom.

A night over which no angel will swoon.

  O moon, O eye of God, unblinking.

And, yes, I have been drinking.

An Oracle Concerning the Melancholic Concubine

Sometimes you feel you've a touch of the broken heart,

when the orchid of evening wilts into nighttime,

when the darkness is not yet deep.

When you are tipsy with the grief of his leaving…

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