Mackenzie Jarvis

Through a hole in the privacy fence
everyone watches you
stitch your souls together
your sleeves full of milk

It is not a coincidence that
love and death sound the same in French
(murmured the rain)

This quilt will be so lovely
it will comfort the earth
(you said sipping your sleeve)

It will be irreversible
the way love is
(the other you said inserting a needle)

When the Earth Eats the Trees

I thought of us   as ghosts           
holding hands    Our human love     
just above transparent      
Our human faces     
predictable     like stone            
The trees sound like men sleeping       
How they breathe in deep armchairs   
How we often find them in books
without names     So naked     Spines     
Touch it hard  I think
Make it feel you like you felt it     
Someday the night’s noses will stop whistling
Pitch quiet     
It’s what fills the pages       
with or without me

Through the Shutters

In the suburbs
people are mistaken for mailboxes.
Impersonal letters lining their insides,
tongues stuck out at neighbors. Red flags

One night I watched
my mother place cherry tomatoes
on a hamburger, cautiously, so
they wouldn’t roll off.

Now my hair smells of secondhand smoke,
my clothes of that house-smell, different
for every family.  The bathroom is flooded,
the music is loud and

I am in the corner,
my nose pressed against the grey,
whispering to the wall,
teach me about the houses.

Mackenzie Jarvis is an MFA candidate at New York University’s low-residency program. She currently lives and writes in France.