Two Poems from Jennifer Ruth Jackson

Desire on Sale

The mannequin faces a storefront window. Stiff, plastic legs cap off in a miniskirt with enough flair to remind one of dance or flame. Her hair, unbound brown, shifts in air conditioning like a horse’s mane. Twitch, a trick of light or sorcery, moves one shoulder. She wants to wear a wedding dress, feel it slide against hard limbs, silk bouquet taped to her hands. She almost sees the sparkle of a glass engagement ring, all promises and shine. She listens to shoppers who don’t have to pretend, their freedom ever-taunting. Twitch becomes a scowl, becomes a shudder, becomes a step. Display shoes she hates walk her back to the bridal section and all the real ladies with their pretty, pretty dreams.

~*~


The Lady Excalibur’s Tale


No one asked if my anvil was a prison or a sheath before they wrapped their hands around my gilded neck, first timid then strangle-tight. Men, who viewed freedom as a gift only they could grant and me, a power only they could hold. They waited for the hymn of my release… and waited long. I finally relinquished myself to a coaxing grip and an earnest face, just like the other damsels of yore. But, he only saw himself inside of me. I traded one stone for another.

About the Author: Jennifer Ruth Jackson writes about reality’s weirdness and the plausibility of the fantastic.  Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Star*Line, Apex Magazine, and more. She runs a blog for disabled and neurodivergent creatives called The Handy, Uncapped Pen from an apartment she shares with her husband.  Visit her on Twitter:  @jenruthjackson.

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