It’s like that when you’re nineteen    you can sleep on a bare mattress in the closet and it’s magical

how the coats on their wire hangers flutter above you like black cloth birds    winged things

unfolding    it’s dark in your mind too    all the books have yet to be read except Hemingway

they make everyone read Hemingway    and it’s not certain yet that you won’t be famous    or

dead at twenty-seven    or both    after all your friends are strumming melodious guitars in the

other room    and someone is thrashing a tambourine    the wild hoof of it stampedes over you

like horses    and not just because it’s the first time you’ve taken your shirt off for him    because

he’s only looking at      your green eyes


Jessica Regione lives in New York City where she works in publishing. She is a recipient of fellowships from Summer Literary Seminars and is currently completing her first poetry collection.