“Two Torsos Don’t Make a Heart” – Poetry by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens

Carnival Figures - Rene Portocarrero, 1952
Carnival Figures – Rene Portocarrero, 1952

Hurry hurry, step right up, folks, and marvel at the carnival of curious characters in “Two Torsos Don’t Make a Heart,” one of two stupendous poems by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens in our Winter 2016 issue.

{ X }

sang in an all-girl church choir,
her demented alto,
a Bobby Darin croon
put men to sleep in funeral suits.

She commands presence on stage
while clowns, those colorful
killers, pick at ukuleles.
What midnight ritual is this?

Her vocal chords, ham hocks,
Her cheeks overflow with rosy,
the drips and drops
of doo-wop spills out over
her praying lips. This

prayer is a cake donut,
meticulously heated by a
nacreous blur glaze,
a Hallmark card of
unicorn shards.

Who could ever slay that
beast? The strong man.
One morning they awoke beside
the barn, full-bellied;
a man of great size,
he took his place in the arena.

He slept his way to the top.
Children’s shoes over size 10 are
considered large.
He is just one big child, but
possesses great heart.

He is a satellite falling toward earth,
a meteor sat down to lunch,
down, down, down, face, beard,
muscles, muscles, thigh, thigh,
muscles, big black boots.

The earth is dangerous
for someone who looks dangerous.
Gravity points in one direction.
Dawn like so many orange
and red fingers flickering across the

horizon and yet, the child sees
the dirt more clearly in the light
from the front row footlights.

She possesses astute
wisdom. Tiny, tiny insight.

{ X }

AuthorphotoJENNIFER MacBAIN-STEPHENS went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently lives in the DC area with her family. She is the author of six chapbooks. The most recent ones are  from Dancing Girl Press, Be About it Press, and Shirt Pocket Press. Her first full length poetry collection is forthcoming from Lucky Bastard Press. Recent work can be seen / is forthcoming at Pretty Owl Poetry; Yes, Poetry; Gargoyle Magazine; Jet Fuel Review; Glittermob; The Norfolk Review; Moss Trill; Pith; So to Speak; Apple Valley Review; Otis Nebula; Freezeray; Entropy; and Hobart. For more, visit: http://jennifermacbainstephens.wordpress.com/.

1 thought on ““Two Torsos Don’t Make a Heart” – Poetry by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s