Half Dressed

Jessica Walsh

My body rang trash
in all towns

I was never mistaken
for a body with a cottage
or a hobby

I got pamphlets
                        Nutrition on a Budget
                        Facts About Sleep

My body spoke first
and my voice went poor
in a kind of surrender
            my voice
that switched rich
on the phone
away from this body

My body held broke and country
whatever its costume

Where the Girl Ends

Even with her face foundation-faded
her lips slime-shiny

she is too old for a girl.
Today she’s a dead woman

her chance at a sexy death
long gone

the steps to her stoop
naked and uncandled.

Girls hoard tragedy
leaving women a furrowed brow.

She wasted work
making that body

for others to wince at
and cover.

Jessica L. Walsh teaches English at a community college outside of Chicago. Her first book, How to Break My Neck, was released in January 2016 by ELJ Publications. Read more at www.jessicalwalsh.com.