from Phantasm 



I heard it through a wall, the soft

        rasping, an impact.


they say love takes you in the same way, takes your breath

clean away,          an animal

in dry weather,



the phantom comes in


night weather,                 away to the mountain


air you shall go




              your flesh, your shroud




THIRST here in the mountains,

I drink water all day long and wear white as to

more accurately measure my body to more

accurately see it when it bleeds or sweats. The

color of the human soul is yellow, actually

it is putrid, but realized. I sweat out all

the water I consume and beg for more


For Rachel Franklin Wood



I left your cottage before the sun rose where I made eighteen golems for you

from my hair (which is always falling out these days before it has the chance to go gray)

to tend to your every need. I got on a plane and flew back to New York where I broke

my back lifting boxes because I am a hearty German peasant or so they think I am. My

grandmother’s name was Arlene. She died last month and I couldn’t go to what was left

of her body. Someone accused me of being from a cow-tipping cousin-fucking poor

excuse for a state. Rachel, I’ve never tipped a cow, but I have sat on the banks of creeks

with mud up to my ankles and wanted only to hold someone’s hand and feel like I was

understood. My only desire anymore is to be cared for. To stay in bed for days and days

and sip ginger ale and tea and try to get my body to be softer and smaller than it’s ever

been. I think about being bathed in water that smells clean and nothing else and fall

asleep on sheets freshly laundered by my caretaker. My caretaker would fall asleep in a

chair across the room next to the white noise machine next to the nightlight and I’d

sleep diagonally on a queen size bed so no matter how wretched I became, there would

be a little distance. They would come check on me in the night but only when they

knew I was really out, putting the back of their hand close to my mouth, making sure

that I’m still breathing.

Denise Jarrott is the author of the chapbook Nine Elegies (dancing girl press) and the full length collection NYMPH (vegetarian alcoholic press, 2018). She grew up in Iowa and currently lives in Brooklyn.