Jenny McDougal


She grew up afraid of skeletons.
The columns of raw white bone
made her remember: the acid yellow
smell of sulfur, iris crushed nights
fat with waxy rats, fur tipped with the crackling
aroma of charred flesh. The air raids
came May 29th and the city
burned hot with living people ignited,
hair like wicks above dripping and scarred candles.

I am told she grew old, skin soft
and papery, small body stooped,
drawn forward into the wet earth.
And she dreams of ayame still,
how she survived when the world cracked open.

Jenny McDougal, an MFA candidate at Hamline University, lives in Saint Paul and works for an arts non-profit in Minneapolis.  She loves wine, Robert Grunst, semi-colons, creative nonfiction, Rilo Kiley, and Grand Marais.

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