Jessica Wickens

Department Store Days

hey dude,
it’s me

we licked that fever into one big family, didn’t we?

wads of paper tossed into storms

summer abandoned us
the clothes made the mannequins
we devised our secret names
made stories from fragments

what are the most important
things to have in a life/boat?

drums and teacups

they always ask us if we smoke
body memory is infinite

we never do

our first public statement was: it’s been more than a year and real life is still awesome / it’s a sin not to admit it / we are totally going to make t-shirts

it’s just as well            those days are behind us

so dude, say it like you would say it, not like Betty Crocker would say it

man naps on couch at salvation army

not all rebirth is emergence from a deep well
this one could be a call to action
soldiers- brides- and children-in-waiting (upon waking) arise
in their own ways

does the suit fit? and the hat? trembling heart and hands
sidewalks darkened with rain
a future visible in the patterns

the sink runneth over / war becomes
much easier (upon waking)

how much $ does it take to become a fully realized human?
happiness as a journey not a destination / but the landscape can beat
you every time

he wakes and watches
as the parade passes and we’re revealed
riders with pelts of conquest
our old absurdities
the casualties of our superficial train
America is a nonstop fucker of
prosperity and peace

Jessica Wickens is an editor of Monday Night and a member of the Bay Area Correspondence School, a project exploring experimental writing through online and offline communications. She co-authored with Della Watson a poetry collection titled Everything Reused in the Sea: The Crow & Benjamin Letters (Mission Cleaners Books). Her chapbook, Things That Trust Us, was published by Beard of Bees.

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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the editor of Posit ( and the author of nine books and chapbooks, including Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her tenth book, Zoom, was awarded the Washington Prize and will be published in 2018. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, and Verse Daily.

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