A Poem by Jenny Rossi – The Feminist Wire

A Poem by Jenny Rossi

My face a Band-Aid, ode to insecurity


I think the new intern is smarter

than me the way a lake is wider

than a puddle, naturally and at

ease with largess – throwing back the

whole world in reflection while I

am content with the shimmer of

an oil slick, a greasy rainbow testament

to all my inefficiencies and how I

ached to be more than to lack.


I also think that the cashier is more

competent than I, yes, even the

new girl tonight, who almost dropped

my carrots – but did you see the way

she deftly caught herself and the

little smile of triumph after? If I could

only have that ringmaster’s skill in

front of the lion-crowds.



And the key that fits into the door, when

I come home – do you see how perfectly

it turns, as if made for a purpose (because

it is, yes, I know) but how it lets me in as

well as a dangerous stranger that would

hold it. See, this key is more than me.


Even the kitchen pans have attained

a more nebulous truce and chide me

for holding a periscope to the past, can’t

I just be content as a conduit of heat, need

and chemistry? I seek more than a phoenix

reborn in the shape of a banana bread.

I hear a cry imperative.


Jenny Rossi writes from Vermont with work in Strange Horizons, Painted Bride Quarterly, and a chapbook with Deadly Chaps Press.