All the flies in the valley were buzzing at the windows, wingflitsfizzing the afternoon bright as sparkling water. As theywere our only neighbors, we climbed the loft's ladder clothedand descended it naked, proud not to have clocked our headsagainst the roof's crossbeam, woozy nonethelesswith that suspended, elevated hour. An hour when wealmost, just nearly slipped our skins, lost trackof our insistent edges. That good kind of losing. If our cabin were the barn next door, this loft would bewhere the hay was stored—bale after bale of sun-drenched stalks,the herds feasting all winter on summer. I've returned now alone, to read, but mostlyto listen, hovering in the god-seat: There's the loose flutter of a mare's sigh, half-asleepin the yard. Above, the teeth-on-tin screech of a hawk; belowthe tink of her spoon on a dish as she scoops up peas cookedslow with butter and salt, as she was taught as a child, a helpingof home in these faraway mountains. Up here, unseen, the heatdrifts up from the stove's glow, the peas' haze, my love'scontented breath, the memory of her face beneath mine—simmeringuntil I am blanched as a boiled tomato and a single touchis all it would take to part my skin in a neat seam, a touchto peel back this pored, porous facade so I can drift down andsettle inside her like steam. Like whatever comfort and ripeness her body might need.
“In Wyoming” from Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going © 2019 by Jessica Jacobs. Appears with the permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.
Jessica Jacobs is the author of Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press, 2015), a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keefe, winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Her chapbook In Whatever Light Left to Us was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2016. Her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in publications including Crazyhorse, The Missouri Review, New England Review, Orion, and the Oxford American. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock climbing instructor, bartender, editor, and professor, and is now the Associate Editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal. She lives, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown, in Asheville, North Carolina.
A memoir-in-poems about coming of age in sultry Florida and the speaker navigating a complex relationship with her wife grounded in the daily world.
“I’m totally certain Jessica Jacobs’ book is going to save someone’s life. Probably more than one person, but I’m thinking of the one person who, like me when I was first coming out, needed a book like this so much. Like Marilyn Hacker’s Love, Death and the Changing of the Seasons and Minnie Bruce Pratt’s S/He before it, Jacobs’ poetry collection/memoir-in-verse tells of love and everyday life in a way everyone deserves to hear about but many of us never do. Yes, the world is wider than it was when I was 16 and dying for a book like this, but there’s still so much work to do and so many stories that need to be told. This book would have helped me know it doesn’t necessarily ‘get better’ but it sure can get great in unimaginable ways. It would have helped me envision new ways to be alive. An honest, activist, real world dream of a book. A treasure.”
“All great love stories deserve to be written down for history’s sake. With Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going, Jessica Jacobs gives us an intimate, sensual, desirous book full of real life hardships and an epic love story of surrender and survival. Rooted in landscape and written with a rich lyrical line, these gorgeous poems pay necessary homage to what truly matters.”
“From the murky waters of Florida to a rolling blackout in New York City to the windblown fields of the Midwest, Jessica Jacobs refuses to ‘confine our darkness to the dark,’ expertly illuminating the mysterious topographies of love, desire, and longing. Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going is a collection whose title suggest—and whose pages deliver—and evocative journey. Though, by the time you’re done, you’ll likely want to stay right where you are: in the vision of this gifted poet, in the glow of these stunning poems.”