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© COPYRIGHT 2019.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

A. N. DeJesús

Well

I’ve always shied away from the hexagonal glinting of some words. These words refuse their straight jackets, insistent upon dimension. I wince as their edges bloody my tongue. My hands shake, the word well falls out of my mouth and onto the floor, dripping in copper. It fractures into pieces that hurt to look at. My cousins and I used to shout at the windows of my mother’s minivan through the plains, “Oil wellwellwellwellwell!” Holes bored into the earth so deep that darkness was liquefied; our squeals devolved well as it echoed off the stained upholstery. Then, silence, somewhere among forgotten broken crayons. Maybe there’s oil in me too, at the bottom of my well, my stomach pinkening, things growing and rotting down in the pitch. The bar across from my apartment has $4 well drinks and half price draft beer after midnight. Drunk, I’d drop a match down my throat; speculate if rum is more flammable than oil. Remember when well was all we ever wanted to be, “You did well.” “Well…” begins a sentence that tries halfheartedly to answer, “Why?” Something just beyond articulation, something I can’t get down on paper or say through the phone late at night, whisper-asking my parents if I can come home. They say, “Not until you are well.”

A. N. DeJesus is a poet and technical writer out of Kansas City, Missouri. She was recently awarded honorable mention in the David Baker Awards for Poetry and a fellowship to attend Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Her work was  nominated for the 2018 Best of the Net Anthology, appears in Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, and is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review.