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Poetry

Abriana Jetté

By September 18th, 2020 No Comments

Final Exam (Cumulative)

Part I:

 

1. He never left us

(a) like he meant it
(b) with intention
(c) after finishing a beer
(d) so mom hissed how she found him disgusting
and with her voice the sound
of the door

2. Sometimes he’d take me to the Point

(a) to go fishing
(b) where I heard loose girls
lost it
(c) He’d hook my line, smile, crack open
a beer wait for something to bite
(d) it felt like minutes whenever we stayed ‘til night

3. We lived by the sea and

(a) spent summers barefoot on the sand
(b) piss clams spit at our ankles
(c) our heels slammed against the pearl glow
of their backs because they could
(d) I always knew we’d be
shortlasting That’s the way it is
with water

4. Don’t you remember October?

(a) The bay roared over and under the house
(b) the couch slouched over weeping, wet
with storm bile
(c) garbage and mussels and shrimp swept
and smooshed across the kitchen floor
(d) Still I say this is not suffering

5. What do you know about suffering?

(a) Once I called Grandma chubby
Mom was quick to tell me No
(b) that’s kwashiorka
(c) her stomach
fighting retaining remembering dirt
water called coffee and cyanide showers
(d) the insufficiency of
childhood

6. I never noticed her

(a) hunger
(b) numbers
(c) accent
(d) penchant for saving

7. and I mistook his

(a) orange juice for orange juice
(b) happiness for happiness
(c) love as safety
(d) life as mine

8. What does this have to do with the storm?

(a) try no air try stillness try the calm
they say before
(b) the burn the fire the flood
(c) the swelter in its flow or downright drown
(d) try sun and water and thirst and brown
soil, roots ruined, renewed

9. Have you already forgotten about him?

(a) Of course
(b) No
(c) only in the morning before light
rises and the stirring of darkness
plays a trick on my mind so that I feel
I am not alone but not alive
(d) all of the above

10. And now? What about now?

(a) this will never compare to that
(b) one lived with too little, the other
took in too much
(c) without warning they appear like goosebumps
(d) he, the glass on the edge, she
the calm beneath the sea

 

 

 

 

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Abriana Jetté is an internationally published poet and essayist. She is also an editor and educator, with research interests in creative writing studies, alternative pedagogies, and poetics. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Seneca Review, The Moth, Poetry New Zealand, and Harpur Palate