Jessica Lee


I confess I went through    my feminist theory
professor’s    underwear
drawer    it felt important to know
what was underneath
do you think    maybe I’m going to house sitter hell
or    can I say my desire    to see people’s underpinnings
is the same reason    I crack open
a book of poetry    as though underwear were equivalent
to the pages    closest
to the openings    up against the truth of the    body.

Freud and Me

​I go to sleep thinking
of Freud. I dream
of a room full
of flutes—some in suit-
cases, some in open air.
A brass bassoon, a rose
wood piccolo, some plastic
clarinet abandoned
under a pink
lampshade dripping
green beads, like seeds,
that catch the light
just so. I try
to blow, but cannot play.
My fingers fumble over
the holes. My lungs
are not strong enough. All
I can muster is a cooling
whisper, like I use to cool

hot tea. I wake up and Freud
is perched on my
pillow, no bigger
than my thumb, puffing
his cigar and grinning.
He tells me his penis
is the star
of my dream, disguised
as a wind instrument I long
to master, but cannot—​​​
how I want to align
myself with the conductor
of The Dream
Symphonies, but I feel
inadequate because
I don’t have an oboe
between my legs, no music
to make of my own.

Jessica Lee is the poetry editor of Sweet Tree Review. She is completing her first collection of poetry, inspired by The Donna Reed Show. Her work is forthcoming in DIAGRAM and Rufous City Review. She studied creative writing at Western Washington University.