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jessica poli

Unrequited Love Pantoum

I wake up with the flowers you gave me
in the dream. When it rains like this,
I think of you in the corn. How all year
we read weather like the holy book.

In the dream, when it rains like this,
church bells crawl through the window.
I read weather like the holy book
until night comes on black stilts.

Church bells crawl through the window
and into my body which shudders
until night comes. On black stilts
I walk through the dream

and into my body, which shudders
like a dog left out in the cold.
I walk: through the dream
I find you, hunting through fields

like a dog. Left out in the cold
for too long, you shiver my name when
I find you. Hunting through fields
of corn, we rest periodically.

For too long, you shiver my name. When
light breaks there’s a sound like rustling
corn. We rest. Periodically
the dream repeats: over and over,

light breaks. A rustling sound:
you, in the corn. All year
the dream repeats. Over and over
you give me flowers, which disappear when I wake.


Jessica Poli is the author of four chapbooks: Canyons (BatCat Press, 2018), Alexia (Sixth Finch, 2015), Glassland (JMWW, 2014), and The Egg Mistress (Gold Line Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Southern Indiana Review, and Caketrain, among others. She earned her MFA from Syracuse University and is pursuing her MA at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She edits Birdfeast and can be found online at www.jessicapoli.com.