Double Jinx

Double Jinx swirls luminously through genealogy, the dark gifts of a mother and absent father, a grandmother “who wrapped the boys in rugs and propped them up / before the fire,” Little Red Riding Hood, Nancy Drew, Lucy the missing link, or the servitude that here comes with being “the girl you love / and not the runner-up” in “Miss Small Town USA,” who, after it is returned from the cleaners, hangs up her body “with the winter coats, between the fox fur & the camel hair.” Double Jinx is a brilliant first book, profound and fierce.

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Selected by

Alex Lemon





I was the worst of all possible
wives. I married the wrong man
and followed him home. I slept
at his feet, I begged at his table

for scraps. These were the beds
we’d made and so we lay there, stiff
and soundless. And some nights
he moved above me joylessly

then left to wash and sleep
in other beds, wrapped in other
blankets. Days I wandered
through his many-chambered

heart and inside every empty room
I found a cabinet, locked. I didn’t need
the key. I knew whose slender
untouched body I would see inside, knew

I’d find her facedown, smudged with earth
because a man like him will do that
when he loves. I pawed her
up again, I nosed the dulcet

rot of her, the savory flesh
of thighs and ass. I saw that she
looked nothing like me, not even
in the moss and rigor mortis of her afterlife.

apparel. I loved him then. I gripped
her by the ankle and dragged her
to the hearth. I brought both our bodies
for proof.