Not an Epistle – Prose poem by Jessica Otto


Jessica Otto – Not an Epistle

I love how shocked you look when I recount something nasty. Do I love your disgusted face or the fact that you care enough to be disgusted? I don’t know.

Is it really such a bad thing that my 10-year-old self kept her mouth shut because she didn’t want her daddy to hit her? I don’t know.

When my mother was a girl the only places that were open on Sunday were drug stores. We don’t have those anymore. My grandmother would take my mother and my aunt and she would buy magazines and lipstick. After my mother passed the Foreign Services Exam she went in for an interview and was accused of being one of “those” people.

Do you think you’re messed up because of what I said to you? I think so.

Are we feeding off of each other in a dark room where the only thing I can feel is the cold lifting up? You taste good.

You can call it a dirty word if you want, fuck you too.

I can be made to not understand simple commands, the murmur of stones as they tumble around in a flood, desperate breathing.

I have holes in my boots and my socks are wet. I never thought I would say being alone is strange (strange is alone).

When you finally came back I told you that I wondered where you went. 2 days later you shot yourself after jumping off the bridge in daddy’s blue convertible didn’t kill you. So, where did you go?

Jessica Otto lives in the marshlands of Arkansas, where the weather is insane. She lackadaisically blogs at

4 thoughts on “Not an Epistle – Prose poem by Jessica Otto

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