Two Prosepoems by Jessica Del Balzo
Graphics by Peter Schwartz


Lioness sunglasses and mid-Atlantic martini aside, she said she was a druid, and you believed her, scumbag. You asked her to ring you up, and she handed you a bill, her laugh like razor nicks on teenaged ankles. A casino is the wrong place to build a campfire. You should have known. All those heels trampling over everything, walking off with marshmallows stuck to the soles, the burnt sugar whisperings of hotel hallways and dim lounges. It’s like star-gazing in the afternoon, mumbling ghost stories about fax machines and sidewalk cracks. It was supposed to be like a slideshow, not a flip-book day trip. The glass tablecloths and cellophane lights and the polyester music notes are ready, glazed over you like a shirt as you stumble, looking for quiet corners and delicate ceilings, smiles that have as yet to be shredded. In all of this, there she was, talking about trees and, well, what were you supposed to do?

The Walking Antique

When he looks at you it’s just like a landmine, and all of a sudden you have no idea what to do with your limbs. You have to fight the urge to collect them and hand them off to him. And there’s something about that treasonous handshake and the conspiracy eyebrows that makes you think of record players and bolts of olive-colored cloth spinning through factories in quiet towns where no one had ever thought they could be found. His laugh is like white flags and doves behind bedroom walls. In some ways, he is July, cigarettes, a reply to unanswered letters. His voice is dust and chimes and ash, and there is something in it that makes you think he is laced. Formulated for a deeper purpose, unspoken molecular motives and unmarked envelopes inside-out in dresser drawers. He is a message embroidered on the underside of a summer quilt. He is here, and you are extending an arm.