Three Poems | by Rebecca Jacobs

The Armor to Survive
*in kindness to Bill Cunningham

The surprise that a fashion photographer of New York City
goes to church every Sunday.

What does he need it for, after all, when he is in New York!
The city of the demigods.

You ask, and pester him with questions,
at which he can only bow his head in answer.

He had studied the armor of God, how the different pieces related
to each other
and whether the laces were made of leather or silk.
The helmet of salvation, he found in the ladies hats he sat behind.

We all need armor to survive.

His face crumples like a paperweight
has fallen into his mind
a secret spring and hidden door touched
breathed upon
and he cannot bear whatever quiet-kept years
the question unfurls.

You try to get between a man and his god.
His whys and wherefores and the how-tos
of how he keeps his life in tow
and whether he chains the past and whatever guilt it may contain
to the seat of his bike when he is out.

The camera’s eye may not always see straight,
but it will tell the inhospitable truth
that a man is still a man, and just a man,
that the things worth defending are outside ourselves.

He who seeks beauty will find it.


Goldenrod spikes into loneliness and
I’m counting the crashes of the deer
in the brush beside me
spider webs weaving the path together.

The tinkling of glass can sound even on
grass, and dirt
and the molecular walls of someone
else’s heart.

You know my name but a stretch
of rain could mist your eyes
and the aftersweep would not remind you of me.

Is a crescent moon or a whole moon better?
Does it matter when the sky has only been a sliver
and black,
black trees climb into the sky’s white tomb?

I was sculpture and you were the earth
I was planted in
rich with the autumnal privilege of caregiver
of all things, magnifying the density
of disappearance.

The Highway

The highway flows like a ribbon,

one long luminous trail stretching

itself toward the sunset.


It is a herd inching forward, a

fishbowl of anonymity, a brain

inside of a brain attached to a body

that can’t be controlled.


I want to buck my way out of the

situation, grab two steer horns and

veer into the next lane, dart in and

out between all those grazing

cattle, snorting air.


An animal hunched forward, eyes

glowing, ready to spring trying to

escape the dark before the dark

swallows us, before the only trail

left vanishes like a butterfly.



RJ headshot 8_16.jpg

Rebecca Jacobs is an artist and creative living in the Charlotte area. She received her BFA in Photography from Winthrop University and has spent time as a web designer, a barista, an okay cook, an epidemic worrier about all things universal and philosophical, and (hopefully) a decent human being. Her work seeks to capture and amplify the taut, fragile emotions that lie beneath the surface of existential occurrences, and to form a sense of self in their passing.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sergio A. Ortiz says:

    I love your poems Rebecca


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