My Mother Is Learning in Her Authentic Relationships Course by Jessica Lee


Every union
must have a lover

and a beloved

as a hand
rubs the apple it’s about to feed its own mouth, or

how a gemstone serves time
in the body of the watch, shining behind the silver back-plate

as it would on a finger.

Neither me or your father was either, she says

her eyes down in the red
stain at the bottom of her emptied glass

and I remember them together
at the kitchen table, going

over calendars. Gardening separate corners
of the yard, arguing over whose turn it was

to mow. Each kiss

on an expected date. Anniversary. New Years.
Anniversary. Acting out

the image of a marriage, neither shining or thumbed.


Jessica Lee is an Assistant Poetry Editor for Narrative Magazine and an Editorial Reader for Copper Canyon Press. Her poems have been published in BOAAT, Fugue, Missouri Review’s Poem of the Week, Passages North, Phoebe, Prairie Schooner, THRUSH, Zone 3, and elsewhere. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Find her online at