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2 poems by Jake Reynolds

The Day Sophie Died

All’s too early and also my fault.

I’m the PM of your WiFi waiting for all five

lights to glow green. Sophie died climbing

to see the full moon in beautiful Athens,

a city I’ve never been to but would like to

once this is all over. As I sat cross-fingered

for a stable connection, I thought of Frank

O’Hara’s we love you get up and I know

it’s not the right one, that I’m mixing two up.

The ethernet slides in like a bug.

When I get the go-ahead I’ll dive deep

into the ocean to perform my newest feelings

bar the one I kill in error.

I think we love you get down and rip cables out,

cursing the broad disc, and as I wield its antenna

like a confident dog figuring out the mechanics

of a doorway, I’ll think we love you reach further

or we love you go up and enjoy the so bright


I blindly believe in the power of the numerous to commit

to a silence not even gravity’s mortal hum can fix.

This vehicle is alive, rolling through reset streets

I conjure constantly in dreams as impersonal dimensions

of earth and sky uplift the pinch of the trapped nerve

in my neck until my arm retrieves its feeling.

Two acrobats slide by me, rehearsing lines for royalty.

Divorcees toss peels for rats. Some places are hardwired

to be reached again. Dumped by scaffolding, a one-armed bandit

takes my cash as a man on a balcony shouts at me.

I duck into a shop for a toothbrush. I have a toothbrush at home.

The spectre of load-bearing was once heavy

as I lapped clueless streets. It all comes out in peculiar ways;

I still know the way back, but visit only here and there.


Jake Reynolds is a poet from Lincoln. He is a PhD student at the University of East Anglia. His research concerns the first-person plural, the later works of John Ashbery, and populist rhetoric.


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