Brett Elizabeth Jenkins

Ways to Make Noise

The first thing anyone thinks is to yell which simply
will not get the job done. Bullets make noise
but they pull so much out that the ending won't
make much sense. Of course you could pray or sing
hymns but for what it's worth you might as well
stay silent, or ask the sun questions. I have been
practicing my growl, fingernails down the walls
of my throat. It works in a pinch, but these days
your best bet is to burst: into song, into bloom,
into tears. Whatever it takes. Find the animal
you want to be and burst into that.



This is How Things Are

This is how things are: I yell at cars. Each morning
I take a small, white pill. I have stopped trying
to understand health care. At a party, I will talk

to a dog before I talk to a person.
This is how things are: muddy, sometimes.
My husband left me

because I was sick. The dishes are piling up
and there is nobody here to shame me about it.
I am still sick. I hover my finger carefully

over my ex-lover's Facebook page, worried
I will accidentally ask him to be my friend.
Each morning I take a small, white pill.

I have forgotten my first address. The sun comes in
a little bit. This is how things are: small
and sad and far away.

I set a reminder on my phone that says
“please don't do anything regrettable.”
She is still dead. I take a small, white pill.



Brett Elizabeth Jenkins lives and writes in Minneapolis. She is the author of three chapbooks, most recently Over the Moon (2017, Pockets Press). Look for her work in The Sun, AGNI, Mid-American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.