Jen Coleman dropped out of high school. She holds an MFA from Hollins University, where she was awarded a full fellowship. Her work has recently appeared in Mêlée Live, Four and Twenty, and The Jackson Hole Review, and is forthcoming in The Innisfree Poetry Journal. She currently teaches English at Lynchburg College and lives in Roanoke, Virginia, with her two Manx cats.
My Lucky Mosquito
The black body, its half-
stapled legs splayed,
edges a fierce pond
that is blood—my blood—
on your arm, which you
display proud: see
this vindication? see
you here on me hot
and raw?You flick
the dead; the smear
flashes red fresh
on your skin and your lips
surround it, suck, pull
my heart’s contents
into your mouth.
Cloud To You
“All my life I’ve been made to feel
I’m doing something wrong,” you say.
We advance down the mountain
to beat the storm’s dark, drenching
expanse. It is Independence Day.
Your magnetic, impervious
persona’s become a career:
such contortions to dodge the real
or imagined reproachful
glances of God, dead relatives,
the ranting city, your jealous friend.
I am one of your supposed sins.
The cell approaches; your pace quickens,
as if—what? You’ll be singled out,
exposed, and struck? There are three
types of lightning: ground to cloud,
cloud to cloud, cloud to ground.
You think there are four.
The air’s blanched ions rip, flash
loud megajoules through nearby trees.
You shout, and I am disarmed—
because you’re frightened,
stricken, just about in flight.
Astraphobia is so revealing.
Skies rage and threaten;
you won’t be undone. Still,
I take your rain-lanced hand and run.