Crown: the yellowed skull of a deer – he rattles
the dead thing’s teeth in his palm, throws
molars like dice and reads their tattered parable.
These little relics, please tell me if tonight he finally kills
me. What does the animal say? The studded fist
or the open palm? Maybe we will go to bed
early, wordless and I’ll pretend to sleep as he skirts
out the door, click the lock shut behind him.
Imagine his shadow stays with me beneath
the sheets, that I’ll believe him in the morning
when he tells me I must have dreamed the body
rising from the bed. I know better than to ask
where he goes. He says how much he loves me
over breakfast, tells me he slept so soundly,
recites all the words his father taught him for blood.



Jessica Lynn Suchon recently received her MFA from Southern Illinois University where she was recognized by The Academy of American Poets. She was named a 2016 Emerging Writer Fellow by Aspen Words, a partner of The Aspen Institute, was a finalist for the 2017 Indiana Review Prize, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Yemassee, RHINO Poetry, Hermeneutic Chaos, Radar Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, Connotation Press, Noble / Gas QTRLY, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault, and in collaboration with the Eureka Ensemble in Boston. She lives in Nashville with her husband Josh Myers and their dog Gracie.


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