Recent Work By Jackie Sheeler


By Jackie Sheeler


I’ve lived by myself since 1993, cracking
jokes about the singular life:
my way of whistling past the graveyard.

In the beginning, I felt freed—
no more lies, no more toenails
in the bathroom sink, plenty of milk
for morning coffee. But now,

I’m playing a solo when I want a duet
and sometimes I think anyone would do.
Other times, no one. I haven’t sculpted

a space in my days for a lover to slide into
because I don’t want to watch it while it’s empty,
like sleeping every night beside a ghost,
or setting an extra cup on the table

for the absent guest, like a Passover jew.
It’s easier to act as if my private music has absorbed me.
As if I wouldn’t have it any other way.