Jayus by Melissa Helton

—n. Indonesian: A joke so terrible and unfunny that you cannot help but laugh

He stayed and sucked out the poison from her snakebite 
until she was extant again, his muscles spasming

through metabolism. She was taught again how to speak, 
but he was deaf, and blind, and there wasn’t enough of him 
left to love her now that she was ready.

See also: Ya’aburnee. n. Arabic: Meaning “You bury me,” 
a declaration of one’s hope to die before another person, 
as it would be too difficult living without them. 

Cross reference: Naz. n. Urdu: The pride and assurance 
that comes from knowing you are loved without condition.

Melissa Helton is Associate Professor of English at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College. Her work has appeared in Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Pikeville Review and others. She has edited for Mid-American Review and The Notebook. Her chapbook Inertia: A Study was published in 2016. She lives and writes in the Kentucky Appalachian Mountains. 

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