J e n n i f e r   M a r t e l l i

 

Joan Mitchell Mulls a Possible Mandibulectomy 

 

Only when they wanted to remove half your beautiful face 

did you surrender the cigarettes 

but never the booze. 

 

Did you sit with your dead jaw on a plaid chair? 

Did you jingle your options like car keys in one cupped hand 

to feel the heft? 

 

The cigarette in the other hand. 

Manhattan on a cocktail napkin at your feet. 

I’ve seen the sketches of you. 

 

I’ve seen the absolute black and white sketches of you, everything crossed, 

arms one on top of the other on your lap, skinny legs 

at the knee, crossed 

 

like fingers when we wish or lie.