A God Lives in the Amygdala

I heard Amy Winehouse today, her music jacked up fast & techno, for my heart.

I saw how the leaves fell the way Rilke saw them fall: all motioning no, no, no.


I heard the brown bats that roost under the bridge over the lead mills.

And the cats fighting, the ones in heat, crying with the warn & want of a baby.


I live in a jewel-tone neighborhood. One day, as I strolled past the quietest house,

a small forest of Queen of the Night tulips

blossomed into a whole night sky.


By next day, the black stamen of each Queen weakened, let loose & wept.


Do you know that nothing outside of our mouths will save us?

A god lives in the amygdala, but he is weak, too, asleep under the new moon.

Did you see an angel’s viscera across the sky?


Back when I was young and always broken hearted, I fell, too, into a fever and drank

vodka chilled next to the fat halved lemons in the bowl.




Jennifer Martelli’s debut poetry collection, The Uncanny Valley, was published in 2016 by Big Table Publishing Company. She is also the author of the chapbook, Apostrophe and the chapbook, After Bird, from Grey Book Press. Her work has appeared in Thrush, [Pank], Glass Poetry Journal, Cleaver, and The Heavy Feather Review. Jennifer Martelli has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net Prizes and is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry. She is a book reviewer for Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as a co-curator for The Mom Egg VOX Folio.