“I know you’re reading the inverse print of the carbon paper”
-After Lucie Brock-Broido
X-rays revealed a lack of insulation, mottled fish scales
cemented to my hipbones, a zinc coating on the ribs.
Even though I traffic in the nails and 2x4s of the world actual,
I’m frightened by mankind’s overripe groans.
So what if the black cherries of my medulla oblongata
present with diminutive skin?
I know you’re reading the inverse print of the carbon paper
looking for a darker story
and it’s true the church bells
of my youth ridicule me still.
But galvanized steel is always more reckless than bronze.
Though both transmit the tenor of a rainstorm to the inner core.
Jen Ashburn is the author of The Light on the Wall (Main Street Rag, 2016) and has work published in numerous venues, including The Fiddlehead, The Writer’s Almanac and Pedestal Magazine. She holds an MFA from Chatham University, and lives in Pittsburgh.