It's a Canned Picture and I'm Trapped on a Speedboat

Jessie Janeshek

outside the fish palace             a waitress on probation
            tied up beside bars of gold.
Like a poor man’s Jean Harlow           I count my snapshots
            wish for darker noirs   sandwiched between two truck-driving brothers
            and there was one summer I didn’t sleep at all
seemed the city opened up
            surrendered to cheap fur, diamonique, and bleach
and every time you crawled upstairs you caterwauled.

The picture was bad. I wait in the parking garage to kill time
            keep hearing her scream as he falls from the building
and I want sleep immediately
            or a script girl or professional courtesy.
I keep remembering the pasture, thick layers of ice
            gypsy women sewn into horses for penance
            dead dogs as foreplay, Wuthering Heights
my need to feel restless inside B-movies
            when all I ever meet are racketeers.

These days you can’t help but think every phone call’s a psycho
            and not pay the bills that come in.
My illicit lover and I drink one bourbon
            in high-waisted pants and matching plaid shirts
so much potential                        his tommygun or the pill in my purse
            the self-help book a Venus flytrap
but we still wait for transference
            a primordial ceremony
to catch fire or be nursed.