Jocelyn Sears Biography


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Jocelyn Sears Biography


JOCELYN SEARS

 

Jocelyn Sears is a poet and culture writer from California. She currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her partner and their preternaturally intelligent rescue dog. You can find her poetry in PANK, Apogee, CutBank, DIAGRAM, The Ilanot Review, and other journals. 

 

Jocelyn Sears, Issues 

July/August 2015 Issue, BOAAT

 

POEMS

Accidental

Keep

 
 

Accidental


Accidental


Jocelyn Sears

 

 

 

Accidental

 

            for James 

On the way down the mountain, your body          leaves you. It keeps hurtling 
            valleyward, fastened onto 14 lbs. of carbon  
                                                and rubber. There’s an impact     you don’t     
                                    feel, the road scraping your flesh 
                                                            across itself like butter.
Your skin opening, gravel biting      into it, a seizure dragging you 
                                                          into waking. Coming to—
                                                          that is, coming into. The wrecked body
            of the Cannondale lies beside yours, grass 
poking through the twisted spokes. There is grass     in your mouth, and gravel. 
                                    Blood     
                                              too, trickling over your lips and curdling
                                   in the sun. Your left eye glazes everything    red. 

When the pilot calls later
           to find out if you’re dead, he says 
                                              he’s never seen that much blood      in his helicopter, 
           and I picture the cabin filling with it like a fishbowl.         They had to airlift you
out of there, torn Lycra 
                            and skinless,   while I was on the far coast
                            in my wholeness. 

The MRI, the needles       and scalpels,
                          the stench of hospital cleanliness,
            the phone calls. Your teammates huddled
                                    on the curb outside the emergency room, eyes
                         white as Dad strode from the car. 
            He didn’t call me
                                    for hours, 
                                   until he had a prognosis, 
            and I who would break any life     
            for your life     
                        knew nothing. 

Heart 
            of my heart, my body is a dumb
            animal.            Your body is a dumb animal. 
                       How violent, love, in the face of that.

 
 

Keep


Keep


JOCELYN SEARS

 

 

 

Keep

 

In the mornings, when we are unborn, 
a homeless light noses at the door.
In bed, your spine ridges 
out of your back like a stack of fists. 

The light does not find its way in.     

            * 

So many yellow-wallpapered hours,
the window’s small expense—
I’m sorry, expanse of sky.

Time is a forest made of veils
and you float through it.

            * 

What I had hoped for
splayed open, leatherwing bat
on pins.  

I have been a penny 
dropped from a high building.

What does it mean to deserve?

            *

Soul like a knife in the body.

All the yous before you.

My whimpers are husks 
you gather and wrap 
with the pink ribbon of a kiss.

I don’t want to do to you
what the ocean does to glass.

                       *

We are the chosen ones—
we have chosen
ourselves.

In the end I only wanted 
to be someone you would keep.