Jayne Pupek
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Before She Dusts

 

Particles like light but denser somehow,
opaque and obstinate. She tries not to think,
these are pieces of his toenail, the dog's grainy
sneezes, her own sloughed off skin.
Parasites thrive in this place.
The body's soot is an ungodly bird
come to roost in moldy corners.
Supposedly, mites invisible to the naked eye
congregate in her bed. They feed off
debris and the underbelly of dreams.
At night she imagines them burrowing
beneath clean sheets, demanding
salt, shed cells, eyelashes.
Each morning, she dumps wet grounds,
wipes the cold surfaces. She digs her nail
into the crevices the way her mother did.
Still, there is no getting rid of the grime.
Dirt collects where she least expects it.
She's come to accept these things.
All she asks is an occasional reprieve,
as in this moment when she pauses,
puts down the can of Pledge and her rag
to watch a hummingbird shimmer
outside the window, its green
back glistening with rain.  

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Jayne Pupek holds an MA in counseling psychology and has spent most of her professional life in the field of mental health. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous print and online literary journals. Her work has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Jayne is the author of one book of poems, Forms of Intercession (Mayapple Press, 2008) and two chapbooks: Local Girls (DeadMule, 2007) and Primitive (Pudding House Press, 2004). Her first novel, Tomato Girl, will be published by Algonquin Books in the fall of 2008. She resides near Richmond, VA.
Website: www.jaynepupek.com
 

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