all knives have names and all knives are women. i don’t know what he named
her but i’m certain it was wrong. he never loved her, only claimed her as prized
possession so when i found her under my bed after i’d ended our possessive
relationship and stolen back my lucky charms i claimed her for my own. i
baptized her with a blood oath and washed her in the emerald grime of st.
paddy’s chicago river, re-christened her. brigid, goddess and saint. patron
blade of abortionists and queers, sidewalk cyclists, beer and a shot drinkers
in northside bars. protectress of redheaded tomboygirls in short skirts and scally
caps. so snug and warm she nestled inside my combat boots. if he’d ever
returned to make good on his threats she’d’ve flicked to my defense. my lady
luck, my charm. she’s traveled with me on trains, in cars, across this ravaged
land, carved traintracks into my skin, opened bum wine bottles and sliced
the rinds of dumpstered fruit. after all these years i still love to lick the pomegranate
juice from her serrated curves. she still blossoms hard and sharp beneath my
tender hands. goddessaint, her name holy and silver on my tongue.


JESSIE LYNN McMAINS is a poet, writer, and small-press owner. She was the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Racine, Wisconsin. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Left of the Lake MagazineBurning House PressPaper & Ink Zine, Shakespeare & Punk, Little River, Chicago Literati, and others. You can find her on Twitter @rustbeltjessie, or find her website at