I wrote this poem from the point of view of Jessica and an unnamed narrator on the character Jessica Jones in the Marvel-Netflix series Jessica Jones.
Jessica Jones is a kick-ass personal investigator who dwells in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Having recently finished Season 2, I felt compelled to write something, as I think this series is one of the best character studies of mental health ever put to screen.
I wrote this poem inspired from “Anxiety: A New England Folk Tale” which was inspired by “Anxiety: A Ghost Story” by American poet Brenna Twohy.
We have to talk about the kick-ass PI in Hell’s Kitchen.
When you’re a vigilante, you don’t live life
by the same rules as everybody else.
When your agency is called Alias Investigations,
that’s code for “own your shit and protect yourself.”
And when you’re connected to a number of murders,
or if there are regular explosions outside your apartment,
shrugging it off and buying a big whisky,
or heading to Kilgrave Castle is not the best idea.
If you’re taking pictures of shadiness and then shady stuff
starts happening, like murder and torture, then maybe
it wouldn’t hurt to take a short break. If you killed the bad guy,
but he’s still in your head, a man that nobody else can see,
don’t just go to the public house cemetery –
in your neighbourhood, in your front yard, and in your bedroom.
When I tell you about the ghosts that live inside Jessica Jones,
when I tell you about the cemetery in her childhood home,
at Alias Investigations and everywhere she goes –
when I tell you trauma is a steep slide with no visible destination,
that the life of Jessica Jones is a photograph that shows
everyone she loves as a garden of bones.
That her panic for her loved ones comes from memoir,
that anxiety is the Grim Reaper and his scythe,
that depression is the bottom of the whisky bottle,
this is the part when most people run for their lives.
To love Jessica Jones is to love an alias,
fun to have for a little while but you will be tired before long.
Sounds like Kilgrave cherry door knocking her muscle memory.
Like the family she once had. Like the new sibling
who tries to love her, even be like her. You are not stupid or brave,
you are jealous and have never seen a haunting before.
This love will not cure me, and it won’t
scrape the glass from the floorboards, but it will turn the lights on
and give me focus. It’s the kind of love that sends chills.
When you tell the ghosts, “If you’re staying, then you better make room,” they start to fidget. We work the case. We turn the music up.
And you say “My God, this office, how whole it feels,
even in the days that nobody comes in or out of it, progress.”
The way that I love Jessica Jones,
like a gentle hand reaching out of the past.