Lesley Jenike

A few teens yell “Fuck you!” at us from the window of a bus with the phrase Teen Challenge printed on the side of it.

A man at the bar says he’s from Planet Subaru. “What do you speak on Planet Subaru,” we ask him. “Subarubian,” he says,

an internal logic.

Inside the hummingbird moth is the idea of the hummingbird,

and inside the idea of the hummingbird is the idea of buzz, of thrum, of uplift.

In the fact of its furred body, its antennae and honeycombed eye, is the azalea, so foregrounded in the moth’s mind it nearly rises with it, is nearly gathered up by its wings as hunks of earth, as animals, as houses, are caught up by a landward hurricane.

Neighborhood suddenly in darkness, a man stops by with a flood lamp and his mandolin. You hear your telephone ring in your kitchen. It’s that woman again. You ask her:

If you were hit in the chest by a flying Slurpee or by a fist, could you learn to love anyway? If your mama said, “Do you wanna go to your room and cry about it,” do you go to your room and cry about it? If a man asked you to kiss him by the blood bank on High Street, would you let him kiss you? If you could see inside yourself so the idea of yourself bares its barbed task, would you look?

Yes, she would answer again, and yes.

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