From the Town Taxidermist’s Blue-Faced Valentine by Jessie Janeshek

Addiction crept softly to Calico, Texas.
The optimist vanished

dragging my cash through the desert.
I left my urge and your proof in the bedroom

where he wore my saggy orange dress
gave me six days to repent.

Gluing hawks’ wings to his saddle
I jinxed myself to the marrow

strapped on his oxygen mask.
His booze and pills bought me

two-hours of fame
at your goldmine in Stonesthrow.

I fell for the strawberry widow
watching MacGuyver

while weather hung low
She hemmed your dancing bear’s tutu.


“Taxidermy!” image by Flickr user Charlyn Wee

Photo 1Jessie Janeshek‘s first book of poems is Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). An Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing at Bethany College, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and an M.F.A. from Emerson College. She co-edited the literary anthology Outscape: Writings on Fences and Frontiers (KWG Press, 2008).