I have for several nights prayed. I send you greetings dear Jenny; my email is worried for my puss & my wallet: it is worried – do I have / am I getting enough? I have some funds for my charity project; I have some horses who could run me all the way to you. Our coastline cracks its knuckles against our bodies: our sand-rocked, our tide-pulled, our salt-juked bodies. Dear Jenny how many times will we measure the memory against the being? In the name of Jenny I suffer terribly but I am not afraid. Desperate single women have begun to appear on the doorstep. What is enough, Jenny? To this I would so graceful be. We ease against the water time & without any want but knowing: What we know but do not want to know, swabbing the keels of our lives – the tables we eat from and the floors we stand on – is that there is no good nor is there enough. O Jenny so what? I have no fear because I have contacted you. Keep half the money for yourself; I do not doubt.
I have & have : Dear Jenny, wondered more than once about psychopathy and the self; the times I wondered
a) if she knew what feelings really were; esp. when she took
off her shirt recounting e4 c5 Nf3 d6 d4 cxd4 Nxd4 Nf6 Nc3
a6 f3 e6 Be3 b5 Qd2 Nbd7 and lied about her scars;
esp. when she choked me until I bruised & this still I imitate when I’m alone; all this besides the point : of feeling in love & alone & all else hollow. How unfair I know of me.
& b) Oh b) All my most logical moments lined up on
the curb with their hands behind their backs chanting.
All the times I did not cry and sat in the back of my face feeling nothing at all. That simple. They chanted Fuck you; they chanted We’ll tell Mommy; they chanted You mean no thing to us. I have worried about psychopathy. I & I.
What lies we tell in anger. Or true. Things.
They chant No thing No thing until I join in.
Portia Elan lives & writes on the West Coast. Her poems have appeared in Birdfeast, Ninth Letter, iO, and other journals, and her chapbooks are forthcoming from Mindmade Books and dancing girl press. When she was small, she dreamed of being an oyster.