Potential by Jenny Berkel

Poem title: Potential Poet name: Jenny Berkel Poem: This week the magnolias are budding, silk petals layered like lips, pink tips peeking The day before I first bled, I rode my bicycle down the back roads over muck thick and sticky as mucus. Flip flops caught under pedals, ditches shooting cattails, catkins, blades of grass vibrating, hollow water horsetail— all the things you pull apart to thumb inside your pocket. The softness of summer in cirrus feathers, clouds of dandelion, the blue blanket sky My thighs widen against porcelain. I cap the tip, cover the stick in a single sheet of cheap two-ply Lay it down I am a girl dreaming of blood Today the magnolias are budding, the window is open and the crow is coming in. April cuts like a razor blade. Water pings against the tub, the tick of two minutes timed. End of poem. Credits and bio: Copyright © Jenny Berkel Previously published in Grease Dogs (Baseline Press, June 2021). Jenny Berkel is a poet and singer-songwriter. Her interests include investigating how a poem is a song and a song is a poem. This past year, she released two new collections of music: These Are the Sounds Left from Leaving and The Quiet Between, an EP of songs based on other people’s poems. Her debut chapbook, Grease Dogs, was published in June 2021 with Baseline Press, and her poems have appeared in Vallum, The /tƐmz/ Review, Riddle Fence, The Literary Review of Canada, and long con magazine, amongst others.