Elizabeth Jacobson

Three Stages of Friendship and Grief
December 21, 2021 Jacobson Elizabeth

Three Stages of Friendship and Grief




ABRAXANE® (albumin-bound paclitaxel), Gemzar® (gemcitabine), 5-FU (fluorouracil), ONIVYDE® (irinotecan liposome injection)


I was wondering if your eyelashes had fallen out
when you emailed this morning
to tell me when you woke
they were on your cheeks,
and on your pillows.
Fine little piles of butterfly kisses
for the fiends who race around in your body,
with their fast balls
and beloved game of hang, draw and quarter.
A delicate pile of commas,
that when brushed off
began to squirm like the legs of pale spiders
accidently broken from their bodies.
You wrote how you licked the tips of your fingers,
pressed them to the eyelashes now fallen
to your chest, and blew them
out your open window into the devilish spring wind.
Looking toward the Ortiz Mountains
at the gold mine in the distance,
you realized the sandy place,
just under the highest peak,
wasn’t sand at all,
but an abandoned exploration site
where the trees had not yet reclaimed
what was undoubtedly theirs to make wild again.




Square Watermelons


At my house all the female spiders are running around with egg sacs on their backs
and all the males have been eaten—
their insides drained as if with a straw.
My friend emails: My arms are getting skinnier and skinnier.
Not something I want.
In Japan they grow watermelons in boxes to achieve identical square fruit
which stacks easily.
Actuality and absurdity— two containers, one lid.
My friend emails: We must accept the disorganization of consciousness as the natural fact.
This makes utter sense to me now—
not measuring.
When listening to thunder, I email back,
most people don’t know that what they are hearing
is the shape of the landscape.




Elegy with Birdhouses


In just a few hours each autumn all the gold leaves
drop off the mulberry tree
like a brief, heavy snowfall, and land in drifts
at the base of the trunk.
Grief moves this way— lyric in its enthusiasm to settle beneath.
The cadmium yellow birdhouse, sits slightly lopsided
in the branches of my tree,
its round portal black as a scream, its slanted roof
piled now with snow
will soon have tiny icicles hanging from the eaves.
You left other birdhouses
painted hot pink— painted a blue pale as cold lips—
in lanky aspens
growing by the banks of an arroyo where neighbors walk.
Some say you sing
solitary in the late afternoon, sounding like the mockingbird
that sounds like a killdeer, calling
into the softening rime.


Elizabeth Jacobson was the fifth Poet Laureate of Santa Fe, New Mexico and anAcademy of American Poets 2020 Laureate Fellow.  Her most recent book,Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air, won the New Measure Poetry Prize, selected by Marianne Boruch (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press, 2019), and the 2019 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for both New Mexico Poetry and Best New Mexico Book. Her other books includeHer Knees Pulled In(Tres Chicas Books, 2012), two chapbooks from Dancing Girl Press,Are the Children Make Believe?(2017) andA Brown Stone(2015), andEverything Feels Recent When You’re Far Away,Poetry and Art from Santa Fe Youth During the Pandemic(2021), which she co-edited. Her work has been supported by grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, New Mexico Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. Elizabeth is the Reviews Editor for the on-line literary journal Terrain.org, and she is co-founding director of Poetry Pollinators, an eco-poetry public art initiative supporting native solitary bees. She curates a community reading series for Santa Fe’s Center for Contemporary Arts and teaches poetry workshops regularly in the community.