Two Poems by Jenna Cardinale

Preparing Small Talk for a 20-year High School Reunion

I bought a plant.
Fed it only light.
Kept its furred
leaves reaching.
Watched its flowers
crisp and fall.

Months. Water
at the roots.

Birdsong and church bells
at the opened window. Brooklyn.
Morning. Green and growing
soft buds.


Wet Monday

The boys walk to each
door, demanding
gifts and attention.

The boys are allowed
to douse the girls
using pistols or heavy balloons.
A fat hose. Or hand
over a pussy willow spank.

A girl, threatened, could bribe herself
free of assault by offering
an egg, a brightly-painted peek
at what’s delicate or capable.
And intricate. A peck.

Soak the nearest and most


Jenna Cardinale is the author of a chapbook, A California (DGP, 2017). Some of her poems appear in Reality Beach, Pith, Verse Daily, and Cosmonauts Avenue. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Featured image by Jona Fine.

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