Tooth of the canine
Torn flesh
Tippy tin bucket
Plunk goes the rock

Arms outstretched 
Stomach a cored apple
My own bloodless touch
And the earth quakes underfoot

This city hurts
I cannot return to the cave
You know the one
The one with the comforting shadows

The mime’s cage is locked
And he lets out a silent scream
Pinto beans and sausage
At Pollman’s Bake Shop

The river bench calls
There is no real return
There is no undoing
I am undone.

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About the Author

Jessica Neno Cloud was born and raised in Mobile, AL and now resides in Hartsville, SC with her husband Daniel and her two children. She earned her M.A. in English literature at The University of Southern Mississippi. Her poetry can be found online in eMerge magazine, the TEJASCOVIDO project and the online journal Former People. In print, her poem “After the Bath” appeared in Constellations magazine in 2019 and the poem “Stockpile the Sun” was published in the Langdon Review: TEJASCOVIDO in 2020.

Jessica Cloud
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