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5 Poems by Jessica Lee McMillan


the longing heart wanes as winter without beholden satellite yet lime bud survives dry hydrangea reattempts height on vascular brine nebulous twilight clouds seem too far up again to nest inside because further below, the heart gets scraped down mountainside rubble, slide seasons of feeling into blood cauldron, cooled, hermetically sealed until earth expands in frost quakes gibbous bursts in morning blue scatter sometimes the heart is as big as a supermoon it craters a light pool big enough to wade


THE HOLLOW in December our dual silhouette in the window is sewn by a row of bare tree shadows I was branching bones for your offshoot you were scooped into my excavated life —scrubbed clean— your made my lungs into breathless valleys your room, pious with terry and lavender put Trump on mute I softened with oxytocin fragility, saw the bottom of the beginning when you emerged crimson skin I marvelled at bottomlessness, your gaze stripped my sins, bark I sloughed off

to winter where faults buried in hollows are made bare as sticks since this life is a scaffold —a tree swing without seat— I hinge with you, surrendering to this bottom of the beginning I listen to your burrow of slumber where you compose trees in joints of winter and spring, where you spin helicopter seeds haphazardly rooting the empty


LEATHERJACKETS leathery dusk messengers danced my legs from dampening blades, the delicate arrows in yearly back yard ascent as the sun closed in petal spray, their lines connected midair mating in moon-touched blueprints with veined wings my dusty square-lit room domesticated their flight to a ceiling routine in clownish gait, skittering posters, they tick tick ticked against my mildewed backyard tent and formed a rag-tag troupe with my snails and snakes shedding limbs in soft hand cages with dispensable legs designed for escape, they lilted away into equinox shadows; packing up and joining the biological draft, the leatherjacket empties the grass for its last days, sky-enveloped


REROUTED rerouted over years, his package found me in a dream where skip tracers had given up from all the places I lived, a spectre of its sender’s post mortem note on the inside walls read that he found vintage clothes and hard candy in a clear pink case and thought of me, he said in corrugated dreamspeak his love letter, soft textures of thin denim and silk floral trim in eccentric shades unblueing the mood that would take his life that email out of the blue the month he died into my night mind, rerouted our conversation through arcane postal service of sleep



Outdoors, each window blinks

audible light on each floor

Retinas soundcradle

crashing blood

My orbit is full of leaves

unfurling cochlear flutter

Driving, mountains are a fan belt

droning long notes through space

Peripheral view wiretaps

earth's cry of time

Observing human currents,

pedestrian patter breaks the glass

Pines ring bells in solar plexus,

confounding sound origin


Jessica Lee McMillan is an emerging poet with an MA in English. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Blank Spaces, Pocket Lint, The South Shore Review, Antilang, Tiny Spoon, Pinhole Poetry, Dream Pop Journal, Willows Wept Review and others. She writes from New Westminster, British Columbia.

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