Issue > Poetry
Jennifer Wheelock

Jennifer Wheelock

Jennifer Wheelock is a poet and painter living in Los Angeles. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many print and digital journals and anthologies, including Los Angeles Review, Post Road, Lake Effect, Flycatcher, Diagram, River Styx, Atlanta Review, and The Inflectionist Review. She works at UCLA.

Keeping Things in Check


The cat decay in your hair notwithstanding,
I found you beautiful behind the barn.
The moon was obscene in its glory, yarns
of light punctured the clouds. Your wedding ring

loose and horse shit on my shoes were signs,
I guess, that the moon was lying. The mule
was lying, too, in the hay and muck. Rules
are stubborn, and when you break them, you find

yourself under the porch pulling out dead
kittens, crying, hunting a feral mother
with herpes before she breeds another
doomed litter I can't keep fixed and fed.

In the dark behind the barn, your lips,
sagging porch, decomposing cats, loyal
mule—all the earth and rot—and a royal
moon promising, or threatening, eclipse.

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