Please Baby Please. and Endosymbiotic Theory. by Jess Cook

I’m afraid none of us know
what to do with our desires

Every night in new england
I turn into paper dotted with oil
all fat and translucent
eating chrysanthemums
in a folding chair out back

I am haunted by how often
I’ve accused people for hovering
in the rough meadow of want
just like me

The child we’re big with
is perverse with mirth

which is why I’m holding
my dress against your forehead
a house at dusk commanding you hush
like a crucifix between both breasts

Bring a glass and rest it
on the wild rim of my mouth

Don’t get off
my lawn

Endosymbiotic Theory.
Parts of our cells cloaked in strange
double bags remind us of
their distant history
of solitude

how long ago they
became engulfed by something
more powerful that
pulled them in and said
you belong to me now.
And so they did.

Across the table is a gay man
I want to fuck for the way
his shirt collar riptides into some
thing I cannot give.

O gentle thrill of invisibility,
harden my tongue and root
out the fever keeping me
vigilant in the aisles.

I’m weird right now
I say as I think of him
pressing my body
against a hard surface
overtaking me.

Jess Cook lives in Massachusetts, where, among other things, she teaches and tutors college writing and literature.