Brett Elizabeth Jenkins lives in Indiana and is currently earning her MFA from Bennington. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Anderbo, Denver Syntax, Breadcrumb Scabs, The Medulla Review, G.U.D., Writers' Block, and The Orange Room Review.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE MY SPANISH SHIRT WASHING DIRECTIONS ARE SAYING TO ME
Instructions for shirt:
Don’t wash it second.
Wash with similar colors.
Wash this tomorrow or today, with frigid water (30ºC) for shirt of your dreams.
With ham detergent.
Don’t sleep with Chad!
Move to Colorado.
Grow plants in medium temperatures (150ºC) for shirt of your dreams.
Not responsible for additional processes.
TO DO ON BREAK FROM WORK
1. Drive directly to bank. Don’t cry in front
of Seth, hot bank teller, when he tells you
that you have overdrawn your account by $100.
2. Get back in car. Try to find something happy to listen to.
Settle for sad bastard music.
3. Smoke five cigarettes.
4. Go home. Take time climbing apartment stairs. Listen
for a minute to the neighbors, their horrible
music underscoring obscenities—Who
ate my fucking cookies.
5. Slam the door.
6. Lie in bed, cry.
7. Smoke five more cigarettes.
8. Call mom. Don’t be ashamed to let her hear
your obnoxious sobbing.
9. Pull yourself together. Slap your neck a couple times,
make stupid faces in the bathroom mirror.
10. Stop thinking about it. Get in car. Drive back to work.
MESSAGE I LEFT TO MYSELF ON THE PHONE
this is yourself
and this is the most
important thing you’ve
ever thought of
when you walk into a room
depending on who you’re with
how many doors there are
where the doors are
where the windows are
and how many
this will determine
where you sit
see you in the morning
I have to work on my thighs
and arms every day so I can
like, not flop around. And so I can
eat two breakfastses.