winter necrosis


Jennifer MacBain-Stephens





((winter necrosis, part I))



prepare the body / rouge the cheeks / fingertips are older in snow / the blood, funnels one last memory / cement a tight mouth / seek an eyebrow needle / any moment now / skin falls untied / at least once / I was kept alive / the crows stare into a mirrored glamour ball / insecure the ugly / jealous of the freezing age / into beige and teal chemical drips / the beast lies on its back /



((in another life time)) ((the brain recalls))


an antique lamp / lit

chapped lip rage instructs /

the studious side to know things from text books /

I cannot /

let /

so many sighs escape throats


I want

to quiet / the scraping / daily chores / the paper mate pens /

won’t stop


your green circle island / lit forever

with modern art / and  indoor basil / thriving


gleaming / Land Use

laws / all calculation / all sediment stubble / calm


I tried to be a brick / when it mattered / why did I ever look away? /





((winter necrosis, part II))



pry open a slacken mouth / to miss the cracks / and smashed syllables in my cortex / I cannot express my noise to you / so I break / they lacquer nails / sketch me from memory / for the photograph / for the newspaper / printed on four color / one sunset to symbolize / the earth’s weight / will smash my cheek bones soon enough / the worms will fall into my hair / then spring rain / grow a new body / a new girl / a fawn / a mass not standing / dripping slowly in the sun








Jennifer MacBain-Stephens is the author of the full length poetry collections Your Best Asset is a White Lace Dress (Yellow Chair Press, 2016), The Messenger is Already Dead (Stalking Horse Press, 2017) and We’re Going to Need a Higher Fence (tied for first place in the 2017 Lit Fest Book Competition).  Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.  She is also the author of nine chapbooks including She Came Out From Under the Bed (Poems Inspired by the Films of Guillermo del Toro) (Dancing Girl Press).  Recent work can be seen at or is forthcoming from Prelude, Kestrel, Yalobusha Review, decomp, and Inter/rupture.  Jennifer MacBain-Stephens is online at