Poetry — April 5, 2016 11:42 — 3 Comments

Three Poems – Jacqueline Morse

Frost Flowers

“Welcome to nowhere,” they tell you.
Here the regret runs in rivers,
deep like the wounds we bear.

Here sorrow grows beside graves,
lilac covered eulogies never given
and you hold your apologies in your arms.

They tell you to plant, so you dig.
With your hands in the cold dirt,
your fingernails weather the work.

Past the roots of other people’s grief,
you lay down your discrepancies,
your, I’m sorry I never cried.

You pat the fresh dirt over them.
Maybe in a better world, I’m a better daughter.
You let the air bite your dry skin.

Aching, melancholy, lament.
These things bloom quickly, here,
where it’s cold and vast and they’ve room to stretch.

They blossom from the hardened ground
in delicate forms of frost flowers,
gentle and heartbreaking.

And you think how sad it all is—
how our bodies are soft, warm things
but here, everything runs cold.

They tell you the frost will melt,
if spring comes around—
for some, it never does.



And The Bodies We Leave Behind

Our bodies
bend, break
snap and gnarl.

Our mouths,
how they froth.

We gorge.

We rip hearts open
and sink our teeth
into the beating tendrils.

The blood runs down our chins
and necks and our fingers
stain red.

And the bodies we leave behind:
empty, gutted, devoured.

There’s hardly anything left.

Our hands, our claws.
The dirt and grime
under our fingernails.
Our loose jaws and
heavy jowls.

“This is what it is to love,”
you say.

We leave the bodies behind.

With our coated chins and
dripping lips,
we leave the bodies behind.

As we tear open another,
as we rip the skin apart and
grip and yank and twist,

As we bite down into them,
bare our teeth and
feast, we lie:

“I’ve never tasted anyone
like you




He gives her first his hands,
offered upturned and widespread,
fingers stretching out like petals to be plucked.

After: his mouth, his kisses.
This is how it goes, always.
The next to go are the eyes.

Then she pulls him close to her by the neck,
tears his tongue out with her teeth,
until it is all the way out of his throat.

Running her hands up and down his back,
she slices a thin line from tailbone to the tip of the spin,
and separates his skin from muscle.

The pulsing tendons and tight ligaments
are hard to peel off bone, but if she grips them just right,
they snap off quick in her fingers (she has done this before).

She thinks she hears him say that he’s sorry,
begs her to stop and gargles out her name.
But he should have known from the start.

When she’s done and all that’s left standing
is his clanking bones and wide, everlasting smile,
she wipes her hands on her shirt.

The pile of viscera on the floor has started to smell,
of rotting meat and bile and commitment,
but she doesn’t bother opening a window.

She takes his bony hands and leads him to their bed,
lays him down and strokes his jaw bone like lovers do.
She leans down and whispers in his ear, smiling,

“Now you can have no secrets from me”


Jacqueline Morse lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she works as a security guard, watches lots of Star Trek, and studies fiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh.


  1. Richard L Ratliff says:

    Darkly intense full of tension from start to finish

    • Jacqueline says:

      Thank you Richard! I was so excited to see that someone had commented. I appreciate your comment, and hope you have a great day!

  2. Stephen says:

    Nice poems. Different than how you described them. They are more raw in emotion than graphic in visuals. You should be very proud of them.

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What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney