What I Ate Dirty

Whatever was underneath my fingernails

 when I was tired and trembling


My grandfather’s lemon drops

 found wedged under the edge

of the ancient pea-green rug

that covered the perfect oak floors


My cuticles


Olives abandoned in anyone’s glasses

 when the lights went on at 1:53

and I was always nowhere again


Icicles I knocked down with a broom

 then dug from the grey snow beneath


The last page of the last paper letter

 describing what they wanted me to send


The skin of my cracking mouth


Jessica Walsh is a professor at Harper College, a two-year school outside of Chicago. Her first book, How to Break My Neck, was published by ELJ Publications. She has two chapbooks out as well. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Connecticut River Review, Crab Creek Review, Midwestern Gothic, Yellow Chair, and more.