Issue #6 March 2016
Detail from Rubble by Amy Casey

Jennifer Hanks

Grandmother, I apologize

for being a teenager again, the nights when I’m too drunk to notice who’s flirting with my girlfriend. I apologize for getting sick in cars and sucking in my cheeks in photographs. I apologize for scoffing when you played me those Billy Graham tapes and for making you buy me limited edition pink marbled vinyl, all the years I didn’t believe in heaven but still imagined you sharing it with the winged dogs and banana slugs. I apologize for wanting to be your grandson and for all the times I’ve wished I wasn’t human at all, instead a salmon or a tree holding eternal mysteries. I apologize for my obnoxious anthropomorphizing.

I would breathe better if you and your ghost were the same, but you’re not.


My baby's a blood ghost and she spreads like plague. Like champagne she's dissolving my sugar cube. I'm sweet, calmed by her sea grass waving in my limbic system, my sex drive settled like a tea cup in the sink.

My baby’s a Medusa and she smells like sulfur. Like a rattler, she’s hissing in my general direction. It’s almost like flirting, it’s almost like a party where the guests are entering resurrection space.

My baby’s a blood ghost holding court in my veins.

When I Remember

The ghosts style themselves after my high school glamour shots. They blow their memories into conch shells and become blank slates with veins laced like mildew. I draw copper wings on their eyelids and tell them stories: Once I was a mermaid in my grandmother’s sewing room. Once I was the shape chandeliers make on the ceiling. I zip them into dress that no longer fit me, dye their long hair red then redder redder.