Denise Jarrott


Everything in New York that reminded me of you was gold-edged or cool to the touch.

I was trying not to fall in love with artifice. The pages, the white vines on ceilings the garlands through windows.

Can you help me be a more contained thing? Could you help me quit leaving hairpins wherever I go?

There is a way of soundproofing, or making the book talk only to itself.

Everything I write seems issued.

Image repertoire: book cover with Greek women in mourning, their faces their hands their fluid beings their physical consumption or of grief.

I am in Brooklyn asleep on a couch for a few days.

Try to imitate the sound of a gray cat crying. Sprinting from one end of the room to the next.

It is the rain, its lack of insistence, that makes me want to take everything into my arms.

You could say the book is an object.

I only ever see a lamp on in an empty room, a girl jumping on the bed, a man watching television. I see into the glass windows of the hotel where I always expect to see people fucking.

A few days after I left everybody wore gold to the ball. The trees were in bloom.

Are some of us exempt?

City an archive of itself. That’s why I feel as if I fell in love. Waiting to get over it with these wide streets, these pine trees, waiting to fall in love with the one I’m with.

The problem is you can’t see your own body, your own heat, someone else is looking always.

We leave a kind of shimmering behind, a line drawing.

Afterglow/ or image after the image a better image, but not a better light.

It was a book for sale, but the drawings were sketches of photographs, and we were lost in the gold of it, the shapes of the bodies. I suppose the difference is that even in the darkness I can see their outline

I’ve always been attracted to the act of disappearing, or of closing myself and the beloved inside the beloved inside myself.


Can you make my eyes a little more open?


in the dark you can taste the flesh of a small bird. you can close your eyes and taste its pain, taste the absolute darkness in which it has lived its life. you are surprised to learn that it tastes small and sweet and its little bones disintegrate easily as you chew. All of this was made possible by money and time and the sweet innards of a fig.

there is a wasp that enters the fig and eats so much sometimes the fig dies the wasp dies outside the fig it is only certain figs the wasp is born in the fig smothered in honey bird smothered

woman picks fruit in a field and sometimes a plane comes and she is showered with poison it is more disturbing to me how normal this can seem to the woman how often it happens

child in a sticky, flowering tree eating a huge red avocado that is full of little black spots inside

my father in flames my father standing in a river of cow blood my father and all the poisons he must have in his skin all the poisons we must all have in our skin and blood and cells dead and alive

Denise Jarrott grew up in Iowa and currently lives in Brooklyn. She is the author of NYMPH (vegetarian alcoholic press) and two chapbooks, Nine Elegies (dancing girl press) and Herbarium (forthcoming from sorority mansion).