The spirit of Jane lives on in you, my mother says trying to describe who I am. I feel like the girl in the late-night movie who gazes up in horror at the portrait of her freaky ancestor as she realizes they wear the same gaudy pendant round their necks. For as long as I can remember, my grandfather has made the same slip: he sits in his kitchen, his gelatinous blue eyes fixed on me. Well Jane, he says, I think I’ll have another cup of coffee.
Copyright © 2005 by Maggie Nelson. From Jane: A Murder In Poems. Reprinted with permission of Soft Skull Press.