JESSICA VAN de KEMP
Blood like a Merovingian
The ancients hate themselves forgiving gods
they start their sentences with state-of-being verbs is am be
they peel the silk from the corn like Fates at the helm.
Snare drums, all of them white noise
unpitched percussion instruments rat-a-tat-tat
even Karajan knows there is no ideal sound.
And do you like my gut? The lean yield tough
Do you hunger for your music in the cold dark
cellar of your house? Does it taste like love?
A Name like King David
Elk in your foyer skull and antlers mounted
above the wainscoting. The first notes of Chopin’s Nocturne
in C Sharp Minor coming from the study the broken chords
Weissman played for her life.
Stalks in a vase you call me Bathsheba
in the cold night air. I touch the cream roses
little swans in the water the scent of star anise
anointing the feet of The Danaïdes.
Dia duit the Waterhouse women carrying
their mother on their shoulders. The gods left
us lying in Birkenau your sister my sister the children
singing Ein Männlein steht im Walde.
We are the last of our country our kin our kind.
JESSICA VAN de KEMP is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and currently pursuing an MA in Rhetoric and Communication Design from the University of Waterloo. Her work has appeared in Buttontapper Press, The Danforth Review, Vallum, Branch Magazine, The Steel Chisel, ditch, and The Fieldstone Review.
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Issue 3 Playlist