The Sunday Poem: Jessica Lopez... Ordinary Woman

The extraordinary Jessica Lopez reflects on "the ink blots and back ants" of love gone bad.

Jessica Helen Lopez is a Poetry and Creative Writing Teacher/NM History Instructor at Robert F. Kennedy Charter High School. She is a former member of 2006 and 2007 City of Albuquerque Slam Team and the 2008 National Champion UNM Lobo Slam Team. She is currently a member of the writing collective and performance troupe Mestizo Mouth.

Ordinary Woman,
the Jilted Soapbox
or a List of Sorts

I who have left behind
trumpeting earrings, stashes of
tampons and empty bottle cap eyes,
scratched glasses and such
upon your night table,
lipstick in the shade of me and
my type of poetry all over your sheets.
All that I have left
behind I still carry
like a crooked spine, bruised
bag lady blues,
a spinster,
with all that nonsense
you squeezed from me
in those on‐the‐fly
late‐night sessions,
the ones I first rejected
until I became accustomed
to speaking in your language
What now shall
I do with all these
ink blots and black ants?
You will clean your
man‐house and soap
the dishes, the water will
glisten to the tops of
your forearms,
those hands that
made me feel so safe
You will unclog my
hair from your shower
and all the breath of me
will leave the room in
one long exhalation
the vanity mirror will have no
recollection that I was there
I, who have left behind a rainforest
of tears in your house, warmed
myself against your bonfires
let my little daughter
idle in the loft
for just a chance
that she should practice
with me
the embrace
I always
wanted her
to give you
Left behind,
my fleet of coffee mugs,
my faux‐fur knee-high boots,
assorted panties and a silver
necklace that dangles from
the medicine cabinet
No books I’m sure,
I always read yours
There are last summer’s
popsicles in your freezer
that you should throw out
Here is what
I have done
with your instructions,
rebellious to the bitter end.
You sent me away and
told me to draft a list
of my needs but all
I could think up
was this
a poem
how very

--Jessica Lopez

Poetry submissions are welcome. Email The whole Sunday Poem series is available from the front page of the DCF by clicking on The DitchRider in the left-hand sidebar. Poems early in the series are archived under "previous post" at the bottom of The DitchRider blog.

Views: 91

Comment by cece evola on January 10, 2010 at 8:22am
I felt your poem. It is fantastic! Been right at this place.
Comment by cathyray on January 10, 2010 at 12:30pm
Been there, too. Cried till I was dehydrated. Survived gloriously.
Comment by Margaret Randall on January 10, 2010 at 1:53pm
Great poem!
Comment by bg on January 11, 2010 at 7:45pm
all the breath of me
will leave the room in
one long exhalation
the vanity mirror will have no
recollection that I was there
I, who have left behind a rainforest
of tears in your house,

says it!
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on January 17, 2010 at 2:11pm
Goddamn but you confuse me with such clarity in departure--if that man done lost you he a feckless fool again--I think not, more likely he's busted for life, broken in pieces over you--just his skin acting as glue and hair to cover scars of his own doing. How the heck are you? damn pretty scorching hot poem--see u at mas and final F xoxoxoxoxox mmmmmm


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