Upon Retirement

Upon Retirement
Jessica Walsh

Tumble shine my bones,

articulate me
in the anatomy lab
where all who used my name

may scrape
wrist and rib

seek heart shell

smell ghosted marrow

tap my sternum
as if to listen
for my permission
thrumming low down bones

steer my jaw
around what I might have said.

I can be my pieces

not uncomfortable sum.

I leave to you
all you wished I’d been.


Jessica Walsh is the author of two collections, How to Break My Neck (originally published in 2015; to be re-issued by Black Magic Media in 2018) and Banished (forthcoming, Red Paint Hill). Her work has appeared in journals including Tinderbox, White Stag, Whale Road Review, and more. She has been nominated for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize, Bettering the Net, and Best New Poets. She took up archery last year and is enthusiastically bad at it, so be careful.

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