Jill McDonough

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Jill McDonough received an MFA from Boston University. She is the author of Reaper (Alice James Books, 2017), Where You Live (Salt Publishing, 2012), and Habeus Corpus (Salt Publishing, 2008). McDonough has received three Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Public Library, and Stanford University, among others. She teaches at the University of Massachusetts–Boston and directs 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center online. She lives in Boston.

by this poet


A drone pilot works a twelve-hour shift, then goes home
to real life.  Showers, eats supper, plays video games.
Twelve hours later he comes back, high-fives, takes over the

from other pilots, who watch Homeland, do dishes, hope they
dream in all

A year or two, mornings before school,
our father came into our rooms with pliers. 
My sisters and I crammed into Jordache
casings, Gloria Vanderbilts. We’d jump
into jeans, tug them up our ashy thighs, abrade
young skin with denim seams. Taut denimed butts
on polyester Holly Hobby bedspreads, until they