The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: J. Gay’s “Decomposition”

J. Gay


This is not an easy space.
(No, it is too early for that.)
The dread of nipples brushing against a thin cotton shirt.
The disgust of sweaty, abjected breasts.

A scrub jay stalks around on the porch,
waiting snatch up the wriggling barn swallow chicks
into its screeing beak.


And. And.
I am tired of additions. I am tired of addendums.
And. And. And.
(Do not say “my”. Instead, scree like a bird.)
Hot air building in a throat,
drying out the wet sanctuary of the mouth.
Nothing ever grows here but dust storms.
Howling waste.

I like to say I don’t have the time when really
I don’t have the energy.


And it is the father who got it right the third time.
The mother who didn’t get what she planned.


There are no chicks to consume.
They’ve never been laid. They will never hatch.


This selection is from J. Gay’s book Decomposition, available from dancing girl press! Purchase your copy here!

J. Gay was born and raised in Louisiana. She received her Bachelor’s from the College of Santa Fe and her Master’s from Stonecoast. She lives in New Mexico with her husband and son. Decomposition is her first chapbook. Her website is

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.


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