Other things there ain’t none of — in addition to sunshine — when she gone

Marlin M. Jenkins



Ain’t no sheets. Not even a fitted

to fold crooked, not even a mattress

pad. Just the stained mattress. Thorns,

yeah, but ain’t no brightness

in ’em. Ain’t no blood

left in my face, some days

ain’t no face, neither, just a black space

left under a gray cowl. Ain’t no lemons.

Or any other citrus fruit,

except grapefruit molding

in the fruit bowl. Ain’t no

controller for the Nintendo. No

wi-fi router. No speakers. Ain’t

no speaking. No seeking, just hiding

in the hallway’s failed séance. No

salsa for the salty chips and

ain’t no shoeboxes to store

the hand-written letters and

ain’t no canvas to hold shape to the paint.

Ain’t no knowing,

I know you know I know

I know I know I know

but look, darling: ain’t a black hole

a pretty mirror to look in?


about the author