On the Sofa Rescued from the Street when a Man Beat his Wife, Threw the Furniture off a 5th Floor Balcony, and Set their Apartment on Fire
Set the woman on fire, beat the walls, jump.
a ripped arm, a missing leg she replaced with a book,
the scissors against the husband’s penis, seen him drag
but better off than the lamps and tables, pillows burping foam.
Sometimes passion is a padded room. The way in
is smooth as the nap of a thigh; to get out
you’ve got to kick an exit, break a lock, strike a match.
Jennifer Wheelock is a poet and painter living in Los Angeles. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many print and digital journals and anthologies, including Cortland Review, Los Angeles Review, Post Road, Valparaiso Review, Diagram, River Styx, Atlanta Review, and others. She works at UCLA.