Most of your mix tapes are gone now, lost
somewhere between the 1980s and today.
Of the few that remain, one says simply
“Salome Comes In—you can fill these in yourself.”
And you listen to the songs again, wondering
why you never filled in any of the names.
Herod saw portents in the sky and said, “When
I came hither, I slipped in blood,” and you say
those words yourself when you open your door,
as if they were a spell, phrases that if, repeated,
will fill your rooms with all the things you need:
the right pictures on walls, the right books
on shelves, the perfect coat and hat for winter,
the only head that can fill this empty platter.
Jennifer Finstrom teaches in the First-Year Writing Program, tutors in writing, and facilitates writing groups at DePaul University. She is the poetry editor of Eclectica Magazine, and recent publications include Escape Into Life, Extract(s), NEAT, and YEW Journal. She also has work appearing in The Great Gatsby Anthology, Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks, and forthcoming in the Alice in Wonderland Anthology, all from Silver Birch Press.
Artwork: Aubrey Beardsley, “The Dancer’s Reward,” 1894, public domain