person Jackie Sherbow, three poems

Jackie Sherbow is a writer and editor living in Queens, NY. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Coffin Bell, Okay Donkey, Moonchild Magazine, Bad Pony, Day One, and elsewhere, and have been part of the Emotive Fruition performance series. She works as an editor for two leading mystery-fiction magazines as well as Newtown Literary, the literary journal dedicated to the borough of Queens.


The Safety

I wake up from dreaming I’m someone I not. When I wash my face, when I enter the clean air, even when I ride the subway, the difference between me and that woman seems insignificant. Later, the difference seems vast. I Google Amelia Earhart and she looks like someone who helped me, once. I look at one hundred photos of Amelia Earhart, one after another. Google tells me I should also look up other women, like Sacagawea and Helen Keller and Rosa Parks. See More Images. I adjust my search to find out when Amelia Earhart disappeared. The date seems familiar, from the dream. Amelia Earhart is in evening clothes, as a child, and on a postage stamp. Someone has told her to smile with her mouth closed. She stands in front of planes of all models, like the Airster, the Electra, the Avian, the Vega. The Safety.



But her hand
was one thing—crumpled and blue
and out on its own, and I knew how
she felt, wanted to reach through
the sky to her—
and love’s different birds:
blue, black, and yellow
maybe even red.
our fingers
pointing at each other
and her after she painted
me green and I decided
I’d always be green now,
and her hand and its blue
and red feathers would poke
out at different angles
to find the winter sun.


Barn Swallow

I slipped into August: a marble
into a pocket.
The bird in my chest
turned from yellow to blue
and on the train it waited
on the luggage rack while I
entered the city, missing
all the rivers on the way,
missing the Sound,
missing the aquarium. Looking
up as the city felt like
a cigarette pack, like marbles
m-a-r-b-l-e-s in a green
box promised to a child
at breakfast, like the heat
I am committed to bearing
like myself


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