All in by Jude Marr

by Jude Marr

a treachery of flesh and bone: hope no

wider than a walking cane: pain

no killer will cross—

                                    fear this pain

                                    back away, back


or stand: take a stand: fake

it till you make a stand: broken but (not)

bowed: knotted but (un)frayed: laid

out flat—

no, not that—

fetal curl: furled fern leaf: ammonite

or amber shell: trunk or tusk: snaking


from brain to base, a cord—

strength is curved,  not straight: I make

myself into a curve—

                                    bear this pain

                                    wait, wait


the turning gyrus cingulate

will motivate

a slow uncurl—

my spine and I reintegrate—

                                    courage is pain

                                    (don’t) resist

                                    curve your brain

                                    into a fist.


Jude Marr teaches, and writes poetry, as protest. They are currently a PhD candidate at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and their first chapbook Breakfast for the Birds (Finishing Line), was published in 2017. Recent credits include Nightjar Review, Weatherbeaten and Punch Drunk. Jude is also poetry editor for r.kv.r.y.