Jordan Stempleman

The Semipostal Stamp

at each, after all,
don’t say then,

one, or the other,
the set, spaced

by what’s known,
shown, without us,

bottled when we
look, spilled when

we look away,
I can do nothing

with differences,
except, point, say

how about that,
I found another

just like I thought
I would, instead,

there’s that ungainly
air, the taken and

never returned, well,
never sent back

out, or released
the way it came.


I had a difficult time removing a certain smell.
It was sweet, but talked too often of its age
and the tendency to be fooled by randomness.
I began by leaving it out in the garage, nearest to the dishwasher,
closest to the fencing that once protected someone else’s
garden. It took over. Brought raccoons, and the first possum
I’d ever seen with a stable disposition, scratching
and butting against the back door. Later in the week,
my husband let it sleep with me, on the condition
that when the lights went out, I’d slowly slip out
to the guest room so they could be alone.
It wasn’t until this morning, tired and not prepared
to talk about my problems, that I gave it advice.
Without asking, I gave it nostalgia and advice.
And right there, it began to change. By this I mean
it became unstuck, apart from my sense of smell
and its sense to go on affecting me in that way.
All there was left to do was turn away, continue measuring
the coffee, sensing it slip down the hall, knowing
it would pass over my sleeping husband, so, not long after
it left, he would ask, what in god’s name is burning?


Labor, in fact, is generally believed
to lie. The cod will dry as cambric on their own
if left out—the cement ledge can go on for miles
with this, and we, however can not.
I see for as long as I’m ordered. I’m obsessed
with being lightly boned. I tell the family I work for
to please spit in the amphoras & ewers,
and when I’m gone, to feed the lories
with my talking & collapsible spoon.

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Blogger JC said...

i love The Semipostal Stamp especially. brilliantly done.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Common Sense said...

Thank you so much Jill.

12:46 AM  

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