Poetry by Jessi Finn

Men Were Growing Up through the Flowers

Men were growing up through the flowers
at a speed that none of us could capture.

Their bug-eyed faces crushed the stalks,
leaving behind mounds of ruinous dirtscape,
as their arms brought with them a wind
that pulled their chests above the tree line.

Young oaks were slain, as were caterpillars,
whose nibbles had done little harm.

They were men with gorgeous, bug-eyed faces,
two strikingly young, two marvelously old,
growing far too fast for us to believe
that it could be more than boredom’s trickery.

Yet they endure, giant above us.
They drink the rain straight from the sky.

The sun has tanned their stunning faces
around their eyes, now ceaselessly closed,
as we, slouch-backed and thirsty,
push their mighty ankles that will not yield.

Jessi Finn may be reached at finnjfinn@gmail.com. Click here to check out Finn’s blog.


Living with Embarrassment Outside

I don’t know how to stumble,
unbound, down the flight of stairs.

I just know the awareness
of walking them cautiously.

Even if no one is standing below,
embarrassment waits there,
by the last chink in the banister,
watching for a sloppy plunge.

One-floor, one-person living,
that is what I’m walking to.
I want a life in a kitchen,
behind insulated walls,
layering toppings over bread
to cobble meals that last,
that only I could enjoy.

Embarrassment will wait
on the other side of the wall
with a strong cup of coffee,
sugar in both pockets.

I’ll know it’s waiting,
I’ll hear it grind the crystals
inside its thick palms,
waft the spicy steam
through the keyhole,
wait for me to take a step
toward the unbroken locks.

I’ll know it’s waiting
for a hug, a handshake,
a walk around the block.
It’ll insist it wants to help.

It will talk like a friend
who wants me to step into the air.