You on the Palate
Let me taste you again and discover
(with this chemo mouth) what flavor
you are now that chemicals damage
my tongue and wrap it like a wetsuit.
Are you the bitterness of milk?
My new intolerance to citrus?
Will your metamorphosis please
as ice cream? Are you complementary
to my blood-weep gums? Do you still
leave the full-body twist upon my lips?
I still detect the salt you’re half made of.
Cupid pierces your heart
with the shaft of a magic arrow,
phallic entrance into the cavern
of your chest. Blood pools
where love & sex meet pain.
You register it as delight, surprise,
& confusion as you walk an invisible
string to collide in perpetual motion
with another & fly together
through the slowed, tilted world.
The roles made from my people
torn from our lives, chrome,
and chronic skin neglect us
on the reel. Be real, it’s not
to honor us or hold us up
like bearing walls. It’s mimic,
it’s removed and remade
palatable for a viewership
where we are scrubbed glossy
with Photoshop. We can’t tell
our stories without their hands
on our cracking, dislocated jaws.
Jennifer Ruth Jackson is an award-winning poet and fiction writer whose work has appeared in Red Earth Review, Banshee, and more. She runs a blog for disabled and neurodivergent creatives called The Handy, Uncapped Pen from an apartment she shares with her husband. Follow her on Twitter @jenruthjackson.