army jacket

a poem by Anjali Jain, ’21

There will come a day

when a wire hanger will become

the bony pair of shoulders

that will bear

the worn-out weight of you.

It’s the weight of

a rope in the hangman’s hands

and also an embrace.

You will smell

Like spiderwebs.

You will taste

like the tear

that landed

on the collar long ago


into the whiskers

of dew-strung grass

my fingers chased

my lashes brushed

it’s quiet in its drying.

It lives in your zipper,

The stinging salt

of memory

the sun slathered

on the trees

and when I glimpsed

the fear in their laughter.

This weight.

It’s heavy and heady and

so are you and one day

we will rest.

For now


I’m your bony pair of shoulders

till even you

can’t hold them steady

when they tremble.


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