Rural Stigmata

I’ve nurtured the glowing wound:
peroxide, salve,
bandages. I’ve done right
by this one. The rawness eased,
was replaced
by budding infant
cells. Trenches formed
in the nickel-sized spot
where my fate and life lines
intersected the injury,
two deep vertical red
canals in a waxy purple-pink
circle: a burnt pig’s nose,
some grotesque
electrical outlet, the mark
of blaze to come.

Jen Coleman has recently been a finalist for The Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships and the Zone 3 Press First Book Award. Her work has appeared in Buddhist Poetry Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, New Welsh Review, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA from Hollins University and currently teaches English at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and Lynchburg College. She lives in Roanoke, Virginia with her two Manx cats.

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