1. Animal, vegetable, miracle, babygirl. Her kind and his. All scruff, bark, growl, and path. Did you hear that? Did you hear that?
2. What are we but bodies shattered by want? Starch, salt, ache, and these girls lunging toward bites of what? Reward, dysregulation. We eat, are eaten.
3. Flag lineage and golden ratio. Travel, that boomerang of sight, floral impulse. Impulse to bloom. We measure faces for balance, brains for weight when we’re dead.
4. Taxonomy and you’re wrong. We get paid to work or we don’t work. Chairs for conversation, chairs for anger, feet for striding into the night, mad with desire.
5. Body, toll, tire roll, exhaust, the fine art of deflection, and we laugh lime green. We laugh green ink from our lungs and drink it right back. We cannot leap off. We just can’t.
6. Bindle, crash. Someone’s done wrong and war comes next. Men come next. Chemical cap. No expression. Why not just scuttle toward quiet?
7. Watch the door and watch the throne. Myopic portals, throat. That red quiet.
Jessica Q. Stark is a poet and educator living in Jacksonville, Florida. Her first full-length poetry collection, Savage Pageant, was published by Birds, LLC in March 2020. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks, including most recently INNANET (The Offending Adam, 2021). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry, Pleiades, Poetry Daily, Verse, Carolina Quarterly, Hobart Pulp, Tupelo Quarterly, Glass Poetry Journal, and others. She serves as a Poetry Editor for AGNI and the Comics Editor for Honey Literary. She teaches writing at the University of North Florida.
"Hungry Poem with Laughter Coming from An Unknown Source" was originally published in Hobart After Dark and is forthcoming in Best American Poetry in 2022.
"Hungry Poem I" was originally published as "Hungry Poem" in West Trestle Review.
released March 4, 2022
All poems by Jessica Q. Stark, read by the poet.
Editor and Producer, Mark Ari
Assistant Editor, Natasha Kane.