Jennifer MacBain-Stephens

Sarah Waits on a Bench in Food Lion
Norwood, VA
She came in hard out of rain
a branch like a throat
dries if broken choked
gas mileage up
battery down
needed to fill the
empty fridge
ten miler down the road
he came in slow
silver mane shining
eyes hawk sharp
truck dented resilient
paint splattered burn rubber
smell something else
walk on the right side girls
you ain’t thinkin about it
but he is
Excuse me.
rubbed raw already
from the wet
hang a bench like graffiti
spotlight a Rose
a snaggle tooth
feel a stubble cheek
stare at you in frozen foods
trip live wires trash
walk home on the opposite side
than where you wanna
buy her a pitcher of gold or nothing
Is this a dry county?
Virginia hunters pop off at dusk
Half a leg in Norwood
Half a barrel in Wingina
pupils and pants heat up fish stick sales
you in work smock
you in half-hearted shuffle
rest on this bench
thighs white waiting
hair part slick
wait for me? Snaggle whispers.
wait red for me Snaggle slurs
try touch
boots tense, squeak
on shine
to move

Jennifer MacBain-Stephens lives in Midwest and is the author of three full length poetry collections: Your Best Asset is a White Lace Dress (Yellow Chair Press, 2016), The Messenger is Already Dead (Stalking Horse Press, March 2017), and We’re Going to Need a Higher Fence, tied for first place in the 2017 Lit Fest Book Competition. Her chapbook She Came Out From Under the Bed (Poems Inspired by the Films of Guillermo del Toro) recently came out from Dancing Girl Press. Recent work can be seen at or is forthcoming from Prelude, Yalobusha Review, decomp, and Inter/rupture. Visit: