Issue 4 / Poetry

Poetry by Kelly Jones

Avocado comes from an old Aztec Word for Testicle           


My best friend spends twenty minutes deciding between guacamole and tortilla soup.

Little choices mean a lot to her.

I sip water and make up my mind quickly.

She walks the aisles of grocery stores to think things over.

Leaving empty handed, the bright lights, ordered rows,

and tightly parked cars equal a world that is well ordered and composed.


I argued with my husband

about him leaving

the empty jar of salsa in the fridge

and why he never takes me dancing anymore.

I don’t really like going out dancing,

all those guys try to rub against my ass,

their hands grope and eyes linger.

Remember that song: to the window, to the wall,

                                   till the sweat drops down my balls

This is one of very few club songs

I still get excited about.

I think this is because it cuts straight to the point.


We spent hours prying pits out of bruised avocadoes

to make guacamole for Occupiers at Duncan Plaza.

At lunch, a man asked me what was for dinner,

I didn’t know, so he screamed you know nothing.

I scooped him more rice.

We pretended it didn’t happen.


While Walking the Dog at One in the Morning

A surgical mask in the grass made me wonder when the next pandemic flu would hit, and if it would be borne of bird or swine. My husband believes it will happen while we’re alive, that there is a chance one of us will die from it. I loved birds before “put a bird on it” was a thing. Birds are delicate, and I have never been that word. Sometimes I wonder what it’d feel like to appear weak, but then I remember the man around the corner. He asked me once if I was taken. When I said I was married he asked if I was sure. I confirmed but he didn’t believe me, said he saw me out with my dog alone at the same time each day. That made me feel like prey, which is why we’re walking at odd hours now. My favorite necklace is a bronzed bird’s skull that my husband gave me for a birthday. I was wearing it the afternoon I biked home and saw a pigeon fly into a car then crash to the street. There was a crunching sound, and then it lay there silently. I don’t believe in God, but I prayed for that bird as it moved its head frantically, like it knew something bad was about to catch it.


Kelly Jones divides her time between North Carolina and New Orleans. A good deal of her adult life has been devoted to obtaining pieces of paper that verify her knowledge of things (resulting in an MFA in Poetry and a BA in Literature and Social Justice). She is terribly fond of manatees, glitter, Wild Turkey, and dance parties. In her spare time she runs The Gambler Mag, splashes around in bodies of water, and tries to come to terms with the concept of infinity. Selected by Yasmin Belkhyr.

Image © Liz Davenport via Flickr Creative Commons.