Jake James: Two Poems


sits on the curb smoking
a black and mild
given to her by the man
who stands unknowingly
on her dress

black makeup leaves
a trail down her face
framing frozen tears
and falling perfectly
to her cheeks as she takes
another drag

white smoke veils
her face and flits
off into the frigid morning air
like doves

she flicks the butt aside
vowing to wipe the makeup
from her eyes
and walk down the aisle
but the man hands
her another cigarette
from his breast pocket
and asks her if she needs a light

and she cups it in front
of her face
inhales and says I do


Medusa felt she was the ugliest
of the three sisters. The one who would die

without a soul caring. Let me just cry
in vain, she wailed– back turned to Perseus—

My hair’s slimy, I have uneven breasts
that no man could love. Tears fell from her eyes

unseen, for her eye contact would defy
men’s flaccid nature. Sensing her unrest,

and not believing his life could be scarred
by snakes, aimed to give her reasons to grin.

Medusa told Perseus she was marred,
a monster. With a face to be explored

Perseus gently gave her a calm spin
but catching a glimpse of her— turned rock hard.

Jake James is an undergraduate BFA student working on getting his work published outside of his university.

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