‘In the First Fall of Our Marriage’ by Jessica Jacobs

— Hannah Cohen

Yet how many times can you cry on my chest

It’s one thing to write a poem about being married. It’s another thing to write a poem about being married the way that Jessica Jacobs does and make it feel like I too am married. I keep going back to the lines “Let me grow strong enough / that even when fallen / I can be of use to you” over and over again. Romantic or platonic relationships, there’s always that element of self-sacrifice that makes us wonder if the other person is worth the painful growth. I also love how the word “fall” appears in this poem as both a season and action, emphasizing the tree imagery. “[S]tiff-fingered roots” is a beautifully solid phrase that’ll stick with me for a long time. Thinking about the state of my own personal relationships, I think I too could “learn to love … better” because of this poem. I hope you do too.

The Shallow Ends