Honey Queen


it tasted like a bee hum in the mouth,

brush of silk wings against tongue,

stinger imbedded in cheek lining.

thatŐs what happened when i swallowed

something that didnŐt belong anymore

to my gluttonous stomach,

the residual honey clinging to my teeth,

a sour-sweet reminder of the sphere

where i was queen






ElanorŐs Photosynthesis


if, from a lightning bug light,

you could summon enough energy from the sun 

to pass through these dusk shadowed days,

no need would wither your green silk,

hastening you to unfold compact 

buds that crave the high orb, 

balancing instead on the bow of a bent 

beam of fluorescent flicker.

but since energy is only caught

from an unpolluted sun,

cracked window blinds 

are your truest friend,

and the pale puff

from your bereaved breath

(if you had a way to breathe)

on the sun tinted glass

would illuminate the only sign

of life in wilted leaves.








rip out my spine

so i canŐt bend to you

as you recede






From Little Things


i donŐt remember myself then.

but i remember what i saw.


one, two, three baby blue butterflies

caught in a jelly jar, but not for long


stiff summer grass,

looking across my kingdom yard

i am a barefoot princess


delicate, dying snowflakes

melting against the same window

 that chills my lips


spoonfuls of sugar

when no one else is here to see


a pair of glasses

and suddenly, i can see clearly


mountains of stitched animals

a dog, monkey, duck, rabbit


i wonder why all the adults

get mad at the crayons when they color.

when they make mistakes

they want to blame the uneven stubs

but i keep the broken ones.


a thousand curtains over my reality;


is it a good thing that they are now lifted?

that i can see clearly

past all the baby blue butterflies?






The Dove


toward holy sunned curtains

the bleeding dove rose

wailing a symphony

that the children

who threw stones at her

listened to.

the church was no help

to her as her broken body

dared to ascend

out into the light

of a reality

better than this one.

and as her sainted bones rose

 to reach the rafters  

of an echoing song

formed from unholy praise

her feathers shattered

against the glass of a setting sun.







 my skates are steel sharp

slicing along the ice

like the way 

your eye

carved an uneven furrow

along my aged body

when you saw me 

for the first time


i thought that you had come

to see me

but all you noticed was

the sound of the house keys 

in my pocket.

i never knew the loss of you

until you appeared before me

with your suitcase 

of worries

and overdue bills

in hand. 

and like a prodigal

i pulled you in

only to find myself




on a thin sheet of ice





© Jessica Armstrong


Bio:  Jessica Armstrong is a writer and artist living in Nashville, Tennessee. Her work has appeared in Ampersand, Tennessee's Best Emerging Poets, Novus, and NPQ 1 (2019).