Jaz Persing is a writer, singer, and human living in Los Angeles. She works in television when she can. The rest of the time she’s just looking for a dare-to-be-great situation, hoping she can put a good dent in the world with the mess of broken love, vulnerability, and words she has. In the meantime, she’s immensely grateful for God and the many good people around her that make it all seem feasible.

Fuck You to the Beach and Back

There’s a mermaid painting
I bought for you by the same sea
In store with the rings you ran your fingers around
“You have nice hands” and hot and cold
And the end of truthful eye contact
Until no contact at all

But did I buy it for you?

I remember a tilted head as I took it in
Her vulnerable frame huddled on the beach
Red tangled waves obscuring
Naked back to me

And I think of you and me
But not together then, even then
An omen of separateness
I saw me vulnerable, naked
And you turned away

But maybe I just think it was clearer
When I’m wearing my hindsight frames
I look damn good in glasses
You should stop by and see when the war’s over.

I didn’t realize your waters would be as frozen
But women marched in Antarctica too
Even with the ice caps melting
So now you know if your t-shirt was true

Standing before that painting was the first hesitance
That knew and accepted that this was something for me
But also about you

And now it’s lived on three walls
While I try not to think about the cobwebs
Around the 2017 Mermaid calendar

And a wood rectangle pale as the ocean sky
“Love you to the beach and back”

How irritating to own something without purpose
In a time when every thing should have its right place

But now the painting lives on the bathroom wall
Greeting me in the mirror
Because sometimes I need to flip off your mermaid
In the morning before I brush my teeth
Every time I wash my hands
Before the hot water washes me new
I flip you the bird
But it’s okay
Your back is turned.


Smoke Kiss