Jacklyn Janeksela

"on leaving behind children"/"things a ghost can do, but you didn't know"/"the ghost of my vagina" by jacklyn janeksela

on leaving behind children

i watch as she tries to scrub
away the handprint of her grandson
window stained, fingerprints of a boy
she once hugged between mouthfuls of cherry tomatoes

i watch as she drips tears
handkerchief smelling of a boyhood journey
she will never witness

i watch as the handprint vapors
smudged with each pass of her elbow
reappear just as we blink our eyes, crystal

he’s here, she whispers
the cat’s hair stands on end

things a ghost can do, but you didn’t know

hike a mountain, swallow pebbles, sleep
eat dust, sneeze, tie a knot, untangle hair, send a text message
waltz, brew tea, count, cry, cradle

undress, sew a curtain, plant seeds, pee
write a poem, rewire the internet, take a shower, erase a poem

carry a box that’s too heavy
plaster a hole that’s too big

breastfeed a baby, gender not important
wear glasses, masturbate, feel

grow fingernails, drink blood, walk on water
unravel time, use chopsticks, use a knife
hum, sing, curse, whistle, gargle


the ghost of my vagina

the ghost of my vagina says things like:
why him, girl, what were you thinking
him again?  he wasn’t even that good
he hurt the fuck outta me, you should’ve told him to take it easy
he was a creep, he was a dog
he was ok, he served his purpose
he was not worthy of even looking at us
he was not even worthy enough to give period blood sex to
that one needed some training, good thing we helped him out
girl, you were not even awake
girl, he was taking his sweet time
girl, that one was too big
why did you let him do that, that wasn’t cool
why did you let him inside, gross

the ghost of my vagina can be very critical
she is disappointed in many of my decisions
she cries into a hole she calls home, buries her face,
purrs like a cat from pain

the ghost of my vagina still hurts
she says i can’t be trusted, that she should be
running the show, which is true, it’s completely true

the ghost of my vagina haunts like nobody’s business
she takes the darkest seed
and tries to make it grow despite infertile soil
jacklyn janeksela is a wolf and a raven, a cluster of stars, & a direct descent of the divine feminine. she can be found @ Thought CatalogLuna MagazineTalking BookDumDum MagazineVisceral BrooklynAnti-Heroin ChicPublic PoolReality HandsThe Feminist WireWord For/WordPankSplit Lip; Civil Coping Mechanism anthology A Shadow Map & Outpost Rooted anthology; & elsewhere. she is in a post-punk band called the velblouds. her baby @ femalefilet. she is an energy. find her @ hermetic hare for herbal astrological readings.