Pittsfield Winter Redux Jessica Hess   oil on canvas   38" x 30"   2015

Pittsfield Winter Redux
Jessica Hess  
oil on canvas  
38" x 30"  



Poem with Duplex Apartment, Mouse, & Line by Larry Levis

Our bedroom was windowless, a place where light
went to die, the backyard wild with vinebuckled

chain link, and somewhere behind the refrigerator,
or in the dank beneath the sink, a mouse made

itself familiar with things we did not wish to see;
as we ate dinner, or watched TV it left droppings

between spoons and knives, would bite the corners
off bags of brown sugar and Basmati rice. We were

sleeping together again, but this time the central air
had gone, the mattress pulled onto the living room

floor beneath where a single window unit chugged.
We'd closed all the doors. It was early July. I was

still in the habit of being in love. The rain drummed
the sides of our duplex as you quoted your gospel,

that a body wishes to be held, & held, & what can
you do about that?
You knew how to break a heart,

your own, already, alone sitting on that mattress
like an island of cling, we clung to each other a little

longer than we should, to what we had left
the mouse scurrying, all night, all along the edge.


Osel Jessica Plante has a MA in poetry from the University of North Texas, an MFA from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and is pursuing a PhD at Florida State University. She is based in Tallahassee, Florida where she teaches College Writing and Poetic Technique. Her poems can be found in or are forthcoming at the Mississippi Review, Meridian, Rattle, Adroit, Best New Poets 2017, and others. She is Associate Poetry Editor at Connotation Press: An Online Artifact and grew up in the Boston area.