The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Jennifer Militello’s “Interview Under Hypnosis”


Interview under Hypnosis

Describe what you would have seen had the roosters
woken you closer to dawn.

Late August already. The jagged at their sins.
God crouching at the labor of us, us crouching

at the labor of ourselves, with iron rods sewn
inside our clothes to keep our glass bodies

from breaking. Listening shivers at
the nerve endings. Things unfailingly cringe.

Describe being endangered.

I hear reasons not to cry but I am crying to feel
the cold come in like an illness that will recover me.

A bruise finds me, a bruise knows where I sleep:
the pear’s sickly skin the color of a throat,

ravines that sing where ravines never were,
the sky in igneous ropes.

Describe being unreal.

When I finally woke, what was the world
but sleep. Graveyards where the wind is why,

wild as cursive and motorcycle-stark and white
as a gown of waiting. I am melting toward a world,

the small belly, into vivid such-liquids and
a disguise of lavishes. October lacerations.

The neon nears. No one tells me what
to believe and for once I believe in nothing

This selection is from Jennifer Militello’s book Body Thesaurus, available from Tupelo PressPurchase your copy here!

Jennifer Militello is the author of Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013), named a finalist for the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award by Marilyn Hacker, Flinch of Song (Tupelo Press, 2009), winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award, and the chapbook Anchor Chain, Open Sail. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The North American Review, The Paris Review, and Best New Poets 2008.

Mary Stone Dockery is the author of One Last Cigarette, a poetry collection, and the chapbooks Blink Finch and The Dopamine Letters. Her poetry and prose has appeared in Stirring: A Literary Collection, Gutter Eloquence, Arts & Letters, Redactions, and others. She earned her MFA from the University of Kansas in 2012. Currently, she lives and writes in St. Joseph, MO, where she teaches English at Missouri Western State University and coordinates the First Thursdays Open Mic at Norty’s Bar and Grill.


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