THE RETURNS, a poem by Jenny Montgomery, Featured on Life As Activism

by Jenny Montgomery
Featured on Life As Activism


I’m a prairie mongrel, not a signal
I’m a tethered satellite, never floating away
I’m Florida, I’m underperforming
I’m drinking refined,
not eating my white valley
I’m neck and neck
I’m not anymore
I’m a cliché, not a rishi
I’m the boy crying, I forgive him
I’m a raving bitch
not the interpreter screaming, I love you
I’m the peril, not the alertness
I’m trading post spawn, not the morning
flicker sparking at the forest’s edge
I’m an overland cannibal
not the mansion on the hill
I’m in agreement with this whiskey
I’m not arguing
I’m reaching through the screen to grab
a stone sphere and roll it in my hands
finding lips, a face
I’m the one who saw the eye
peeking through the curtains
not the antenna on the mountain
I’m the medium
I’m the next caller
not the rusted drum that won’t hold
I’m the next wet planet
not space junk, never floating away
I’m sentient, not repentant
I’m Galileo, a good name for a car…
I’m the butcher, not the breaker
flipping, I’m not badly hurt
I’m the hand reaching into the boat
sucking water, not the sands of Athens
I’m a margin, not a marble head
I’m climbing the panhandle
I’m 12:31 not 2:39
I’m a house of pancakes,
not a locked door
I’m the rose garden,
not the face in our hands

Jenny (Seymore) Montgomery has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Barrow Street, Tar River, CALYX, Unsplendid, the New York Times, Gathering of the Tribes, and the Cairo Times. Her poetry installations have been shown at galleries in Montana and Washington. She was educated at the Evergreen State College and Columbia University. She resides in Missoula, where she owns a distillery with her husband, Ryan.



Image credit: Annie Spratt on Unsplash


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