Without Streetlights (excerpt)


Danger Is a Silence

You’d think danger would sound
like old coyotes.
You’d think coyotes
would sound like themselves.
They sound like you—
a heartbeat
beating so loud
the new moon can hear it.


Death Is a Mouth

Not a road,
but an animal crossing it
captures the way I feel
about myself.
That little mouth,
crossing when it’s unsafe.
I feel safest when it downs
the headlights.


Jessica Van de Kemp is currently pursuing a PhD in English at the University of Waterloo. She is the author of Daughters in the Dead Land (Aldrich Press, forthcoming 2017) and Spirit Light (The Steel Chisel, 2015). Follow her on Twitter: @jess_vdk