Features issue 31 poetry

You’re Just Like Everyone Else

by Jenny Molberg

A mixed-media digital artwork consisting of sunflower petals digitally enhanced and arranged in a geometric pattern. The background is taupe.
Wynn Bruce by Katherine Shehadeh

You’re Just Like Everyone Else

He’ll say anything He’ll make a steamboat of his mouth
and out comes a sick green river You’re the only one

You’re water and oar You’re wind
and undertow We’ll fuck until we fly

You know what he’ll do You’re just like everyone else
He only says this to you You’re his only one

He beautifies the yard Trashed bottle caps on nails
A tin can for every splinter You’ll one day

give him sons A cat sleeps in the car The birds
know better He has ten tempers Each one

an incubus Your mirror is the wrong painting
Mornings you wake as no one

He is easy to believe He thinks I’m beautiful
He says You’re beautiful You are someone

who reads the rage language This is the dance
The underwater dance and you’re the only one

These are the steps to the dance
This is the music You’re just like everyone

else in this world The worst thing to be—
no one and anyone

in a world full of someones like him
You twirl pretty until it’s true You’re no one

Then he pins you down Fills your mouth
with salt Your flaws Every faulty one

You’re packed like a buried fish
You cure for winter You even sleep for once

You like the mirror the sun makes of water
Like being alive You’re done

You slip down drains You love your own scales
You hate getting caught Like everyone else

Jenny Molberg is the author of three poetry collections: Marvels of the Invisible (Tupelo Press, 2017), Refusal (LSU Press, 2020), and The Court of No Record (forthcoming from LSU Press, 2023). An NEA fellow, her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in VIDA, Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, The Rumpus, The Adroit Journal, AGNI, Oprah Quarterly, and other publications. She is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Central Missouri, where she directs Pleiades Press and edits Pleiades magazine.

Katherine Shehadeh is an artist, writer, and attorney, who resides with her family in Miami, Florida. Her artwork has appeared or is forthcoming in Oyster River Pages, Dream Pop Journal and juried exhibitions across the U.S. Find her on Twitter @your_mominlaw or on the www at