Two Poems / by Jessica Scicchitano

I Return to the Body

Me, a prick
who tried toes at jazz
and tap, like most young
suburban blood preparing
to age in puny glory.
I hid between Lycra, tulle,
skin, where cartilage retreats
to harden, like a nose chewy
from cocaine.

For years,
I hadn’t known the color of a used tampon,
not knowing my own color for years.
What the hell is a petrol tarnish, the falling
Euro, a stamp collection, shop class?

And there I am.
On the cusp, wearing
a body antennae,
stringy blonde on blonde
on blonde on popsicles
on chocolate
on hegemony
timid in New York vagrancy.

Yea, sure, there’s festivals.
Cannes, Lilac, Crawfish,
but I need a good terrorizing,
to beg God not to steal what’s eerie
from clanging bed coils, linen, lofty
sophistication with women.

And there I am, 
and there you are,
lighting my mangled body
mashing your thumb into the cow lick,
the wick of my wickedness.

Tears of slick kerosene,
a stinging lubrication
and I zone out of the ohm
inside my moan while I meet
the sun in tongues.

Clouds conceal, but it’s me bouncing
to the deep synth music of early death.
We lie devoted assault and battery,
a moon shot, moon slick magnetism,
there’s method in it,
yes, prism on
prison on pop,
sexual privy, 
posing as clover,
syndicating stench of marine life.

There isn’t enough water to dull the heat I feel
from speedy aging and I wouldn’t waste time reviving a
time-sickened leaf, tempt December garland to rehydrate.

This (the body)
is as unremarkable as water in fine stemware,
a continuing tinge of things that
crystal cups are made of.






Sal y Pimienta

I like a man who draws the line
at an SSRI, man with an ability to feel
the time of day with his eyes closed,
the sun's position imprinted on his palm.

A man who brushes his teeth
when no one's around
simply to "feel right," almost right, ravaged
by America, believing he's getting a good night's sleep

while lashes flutter, loves homeopathy, cats, 
homeopathy for cats and desire to repeat
what he's read, who wakes and does. A man
who feels certain marijuana is safe, even sharpens 

his wit, who walks with a pretty woman to make his cock
come alive, always going home alone
to devour leftovers in a crook of a pantry,
crumbs flying, who won't sit to detox.

I like confident men who dance well, court raindrops
before they're erased by the windshield wiper, men
with various settings to swipe ghosts clothed as fog,
sour dinners logged circa. 1998, how these are all equal.

He'll recognize the smell of plasticity, 
walk with his friends and take his pulse, 
gush over blood pressure changes, whether conversation
is the cause. I like him in whom I am frightened

to discover myself, both of us despising
words like "unfurl," resorting to bloodletting.
We rub the antidepressant powder places beyond
our gums, afraid of convertible-car-luxury-drugs

prison with an intellect backing us up into the moon
driving together toward an exit too engaging, 
too connecting, left only to "like,” too little to love.

We stare for long periods at paintings we'll never correctly
analyze, the desperation in our eyes more missile
than massage. We set fire to the masterpiece.




Jessica Scicchitano was the Nonfiction Editor of Salt Hill Journal throughout her fellowship in the Syracuse University Creative Writing MFA Program. You can find some of her work in PreludeSixth FinchBirdfeast, and more. Plagued by claw machines, Twin Peaks, and cows, she will continually wish to co-host a show on QVC and dread her olive oil allergy. She lives in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn with her three-legged cat, Will.