Loving you is like having that
slight rip of skin next to a fingernail,
a thread of flesh too short to cut,
too long to ignore.
As I move through the day,
my finger stings from soap
when I bathe your children,
and catches and rips against denim
when I fold your laundry.
To unzip the loose membrane
exposes pink translucence,
throbbing, maybe bleeding,
so I bear the singing pain
as it seeps into the rest of me
with a trembling sorrow.
One Morning in the Zika Zone
A breeze dusts
the rusty fire escape
and flutters curtains
inside her bathroom window.
The splashes finally stop.
She sighs and brushes a curl
from her own damp brow.
She lifts her baby’s flaccid body from the tub
and places it, dripping and still,
in the middle of the yellow terry shower mat.
She sees no trace of herself
in the flattened face
and stunted skull.
A pale halo of sunshine glints off
the medicine chest mirror.
She squints away the glare,
breathing a sweet cloud of talc
as she sobs and sprinkles white dust
over this ravaged remnant from her body.
Christine Jackson teaches literature and creative writing at a South Florida university. Her poetry has been published in many online publications, including The Slag Review, The Phoenix Soul, The EkphrasticReview, and Verse-Virtual. For more, please see http://cahss.nova.edu/faculty/christine_jackson.html