Jo Wallace


For my mother, this itself was utter calamity. She says: Men prefer
women ink-free and hairless from the eyes down. I feel guilty
because I can not remember the faces of every person I love. This feels
like a much bigger problem. Nets, constantly storming
my head. Mesh rainclouds. I can’t stop myself from thinking
things like: I could have hula-hooped with a dinosaur’s
septum ring. Also unacceptable! My mother mentions:
Men don’t like noses with holes in them. Mom–
all noses have holes in them! I am worried
there is a swollen tundra of secrets about me
that I’ll never be able to find. For comfort, I choose to marvel
at the whites of my friends’ eyes and teeth forming indoor constellations
when my eyes adjust to dark rooms. A night sky I can reach out
and touch in centimeters. I’ve been chewing my nails down to tiny rinds
of cantaloupe and imagining the warm bodies of everyone
I love orbiting my chest. Home sweet home is the space
inside my rib cage. I can say things like Mom,
I love you, and despite the new tattoo, I just met
God on tinder. We matched. He’s taking me
to see “Star Wars” next week.

Jo Wallace is a poet from Indiana. They recently moved to the desert to join the Creative Writing M.F.A. program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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