Jessie Carty, Everyone Named Her Bright

Jessie Carty

-after Rachel Aviv’s article “Like I was Jesus”

which she thought meant she glowed.
She did not connect her ability to read,
to writing her name, to a intellectual
brilliance. She wanted to actually see
herself shining like that moment before
the light went out in the refrigerator.

Everyone named her bright.

In those same early years,
before school, she pictured Jesus
as a flower, curling up from his
grave because he rose. She didn’t
understand how he could be
so beautiful and also so constantly
cross until she thought

(everyone named her bright)

of how easily she could move
from playtime to anger by finding
yet another hole in the white dress
she favored for her favorite doll. The doll
which she often left naked on the edge
of the tub as she waited for it to be altered.

Everyone named her bright.

Author’s Comment: I’m working on a poem project where I’m trying newer forms – thus the attempt at the Bop ( with this piece that I originally wrote without any concentration on form. It is a response to a line from an essay I read in an anthology which is now available online. You never know what will inspire you.

Bio: Jessie Carty is the author of five poetry collections including the chapbook An Amateur Marriage (Finishing Line Press, 2012) which was a finalist for the 2011 Robert Watson Prize. She teaches at RCCC in Concord, NC. You can find her editing Referential Magazine or blogging at

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