He Buries His Blues

at the bottoms

of boxes

like ugly sweaters

he might

wear again

one winter

when the

threadbare sky


and spills

its icy stars

as it did

when we were


had little



toward the future

as uncertain

as rainforests

our paper-mill-hearts


to make

something sweet

of all this

pulpy hope

and suffering.


Jill Michelle's honors include a Best of the Net nomination for the title poem of her collection, Underwater (Riot in Your Throat, 2025), and the 2023 NORward Prize. Her latest poems are forthcoming in Lips Poetry Magazine, Poemeleon and Sheila-Na-Gig. She teaches at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. Find more of her work at byjillmichelle.com.