Ghost of the Python Killed to Make Paul Manafort’s Jacket Speaks

I, too, began in a womb,

coiled like a stove burner,

got all sexy with my diamonds

and my pearl belly,

got all hungry, got all in love,

choked the throat of a breathing thing

with a long spine, and crawled

up from my warm hibernaculum.

My babies were born and left

live, as babies. And I was so gigantic

the reptile butchers,

the leather workers,

the jacket makers,

only needed one of me.

Oh, how I would have loved

to envelop him.

Me, forked-tongue one, snake, but really,

you can’t split hairs these days.

So now I’m a convictor.

See me in the bad Ebay photo.

See how I dangle all un-zipped

from a dry-cleaner’s wire hanger

hooked on the jamb of a white

cross and bible door.






Gigantic Females During the Great American Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017

A whole field of blades—
purple-tipped grass

pointed in the same direction.
A blade

in the sky,
curved: the moon

in the daylight cut
the sky above, the flat

field below. I saw a red
sow: the whole world grew

on her muddy back. I saw a copper
horse, a mare, her spine

bowed. In Ipswich, a field
of blades, of red skin,

red fur. The animals
had eyes like fruit turning

bad under the trees, the yews.


Jennifer Martelli is the author of My Tarantella (Bordighera Press), as well as the chapbook, After Bird (Grey Book Press, winner of the open reading, 2016). Her work has appeared in Verse Daily, The Bitter Oleander, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Iron Horse Review (winner, Photo Finish contest). Jennifer Martelli is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry. She is co-poetry editor for The Mom Egg Review.