Calypso in the Suburbs

Sewing and singing
and bringing up baby
pansies, I wipe

the dirt-rot
off of their faces.
Where you’ve brought

me, I wear garish
nightshirts under
brown bathrobes.

My wedding
ring sequesters
me, island

of recycled sand.
Where fall swears
winter, old leaves

scratch our walk.
Like years, a whip
of wind scars

a sky more alive
than you. And I

(a rush of burning
hair I dye brown,

the recipe
for immortality).
I grow my herbs

in this fenced-in
yard where

plants inbreed
and weaken.
(On my island,

you’d part my branches,
find small glowing
eggs that make

prisms of sand grains.
You’d squint when my
light untwisted

in your hand). Don’t
demand to dip in, rinse
off your days (my blue

pools, green silken
rills). You don’t
deserve to find

yourself again
in me (these tropical bulbs
buried all over—you’d

hunt my colors


Jessie Janeshek’s first collection of poems is Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010).

In 2008, she co-edited the literary anthology Outscape: Writings on Fences and Frontiers.

You can read more about her at