I don’t like to spend time around chickens
because I eat so many of them.

When I make eye contact with a red hen
and see some sentient glimmer spark between us

can I still sweater my shoulders in the refrigerated
supermarket aisle, and look over racks of plump breasts

guiltlessly? Or would it be like the time I met the actress
on Murray Street and saw her shrink deep into herself

while the paparazzi snapped and flashed, no longer
the blond powerhouse in a low-cut blouse

but a bewildered woman in blue tennis shoes,
and I put my camera away?

Jamie L. Smith


Jamie L. Smith is a Master of Fine Arts Candidate in Poetry at Hunter College, where she has been the recipient of the Colie Hoffman Poetry Prize and the 2019 Guggenheimer Award, and was runner up for the Richter Award and Academy of American Poets Prize. Her work has appeared in the San Antonio Review (17 July 2019) and is forthcoming in the Indie Blu(e) anthology, This Is What Love Looks Like: Poetry By Women Smitten with Women.


© 2019