B Y   A B R I A N A   J E T T É

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Abriana Jetté is a poet, essayist, editor, and educator. She teaches for the College of Staten Island and St. John's University, and is a poetry columnist for Stay Thirsty Media. Her anthology series, 50 Whispers: Poems by Extraordinary Women, debuted as a #1 best-seller on Amazon. Her own work can be found in The Seneca Review, Barrelhouse, JMWW, The Moth, and many other journals. For more, please visit abrianajette.com.

P O P P Y


​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L


My sister and I walk through tombs. I,
in front, in charge; she, apologizing to the ground
with every unintentional move. The baby

inside her rolls around in a way she says
soothes her, a thrilling flip-flop of a feeling
in her womb. We’ve never done this before,

walked through a cemetery without our mother. 
The sun shines strong but the wind blows cold 
against our cheeks. I remember when I was younger

I slept in her bed whenever she said I could. 
We haven’t had a chance to be alone together like this
in a long while, and now we’re lost

zig-zagging through graves. She’s on a mission 
to find our grandparents and whisper to them 
good news: a baby soon. The jettisoned path of this

landscape doesn’t seem familiar. I know
we’re in the wrong place. None of these 
stones bear their names. If you told me nobody

walked around here for years, I’d believe
you. Grass overgrown. Hollycock and dandelions.
Stone as far as the eye can see. 

Not much remains of the sun. Twilight spreads
its shadow across the sky. I turn back to see
if she’s tired. She’s determined. 

So we walk. In circles. Back. Forth. Over rotted
leaves. Dizzied with names from the graves. 
We want to talk to the dead today.