OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 3

Jill Mceldowney

Better Talk Now

 

It is difficult to tell a thing that is true all at once.

 

From the beginning, I tried to be nonviolent

 

                             but this year’s length is measured in trauma,

                             the hound changed to wolf,

 

                             to a scythe.

 

Speak

of the devil and he will shatter me at the good

car accident head trauma high.

The body acted upon is the body waiting to preform and

 

I take

 

                             a fistful of your hair in that moth eaten hour against a chain link—

 

                             “Is this what a man does? Is this what a man does?”

My giving—

                                                                      exactly what I shouldn’t

                                                                      feels like

             fuck it.

There is still plenty of tonight, a part of me that deserves you,

that wants to

                            hurt you like I want to hurt—

 

this into a love story.

 

I am just like the dog you have chained

to the front steps;

 

this bitch bites, drags you in your sleep, sets you on fire.

Jill Mceldowney is the author of the chapbook "Kisses Over Babylon" (dancing girl press 2016). Her work can also be found in journals such as Vinyl, Fugue, Corium, Ghost Proposal and other notable publications.