Jenny Sadre-Orafai



Lucy, Let People See

I’m alone in the back of a cab. The driver is telling me about the Awash and Lucy’s bones
there. He talks about them like how I talk about dreams. Lucy let people see. His hands are the
longest I’ve ever seen. I think of what his skeleton must look like. We talk about the
languages we know, how many other ways we could be having this one conversation. He
takes me through a tunnel that reminds me of a cave, a depression.



Too Close to the Top. Marco.

They’ve put the dolphins in the pool. No place is safe. The dolphins are the last on the list
for some people the zookeeper says. No one really ever thinks about the animals. The winds are
coming for the city and the city is holding onto the dolphins in a pool where a family of four
vacationing played Marco Polo. The dolphins look too close to the top. When I squint,
they’re sharks. They still count. We must save every living thing from destruction headed this
way. Polo.



Applause is More Than Clapping

I’m wearing plastic gloves. I know that in the now powder will be left behind on my palms if
I take these off. There’s a line the length of four elephants waiting for me. A woman sits in
front of me crying as she re-imagines for me what was here, on her back, before my hands.
And, now here, on her stomach. I nod to the man with the clipboard. I believe her story. She
can stay here with us. She’s made it as real for me as can be done. I clap the powder off my
hands. She thinks it’s applause. She takes a broken bow.



Jenny Sadre-Orafai is the author of the Finishing Line Press chapbook Weed Over Flower. Her poetry has appeared in: Wicked Alice, FRiGG, Boxcar Poetry Review, Caesura, Gargoyle, and h_ngm_n. Sadre-Orafai’s prose has appeared in numerous anthologies, Ships that pass, and is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review. She holds an MFA and is poetry editor for JMWW. Sadre-Orafai is an Assistant Professor of English at Kennesaw State University.