Savor This

by Jesseca Cornelson

Put it all down in your head: the smell
of your parents as they sleep on either side of you,
the heat they make between them,

the cotton of the sheets as you lift
your little legs over them to cool in moonlight:
an open window and a small breeze

and you could shed your parents’ skin,
fly off the bed alone. Already you know
the trick of pressing the balls of your eyes

hard to make strange lights in the dark;
even in daylight you doubt the images
of tree house and backyard and mother’s hair

because you know how to make your own.
Lie in the grass and put the entire earth at your back.
You and the cars and dogs and all of Australia

are a crowd who looks ahead where the trees point
to the sun in front of the bunch of you.
Try dancing on bees after a rain

as they swarm low over diminishing puddles.
Thirsty, wings heavy with water,
they thump and buzz but cannot fly.

Certainly their stingers sleep as their bodies nod.
When you hide between parked trucks
on your street’s dead end in the woods, gasp

and hush yourself quick when a fat bee
sticks her feet to your arm. Look at the wires
of her body, the delicate way she stumbles

over your skin. There is no malice as she smells
for sweetness; she is only looking, too.
Think to touch her, and when you do,

imagine how loud your own voice could be,
how your body could trumpet
but that you keep silent yet.

Jesseca Cornelson is a native of Alabama’s Gulf Coast and holds an MFA in poetry from the Ohio State University. Currently, she’s a doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati. Her poems and reviews have appeared in The Other Journal, Caveat Lector, Mid-American Review, The Ohioana Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine, and the Columbus Dispatch. She is currently researching material for her dissertation—a collection of poems based on Alabama history. Her drink of choice is bourbon and diet.

Back to Issue Three: Spring 2009