Redefining north.

In Bloom by Jen Hahn Nielsen

In Bloom by Jen Hahn Nielsen


In Bloom

When asked invisibility or telekinesis?, I respond
invisibility, but what I really want to say is knowing

when: not knowing when I will die (this has long been
estimated), but knowing when the first spore trespassed

through my lungs; the moment it began to craft
an electric nest in my thoracic spine.

Imagine the power of X-ray vision!
Me, in a pair of cardboard goggles mail-

ordered from the back of a 1960’s comic
book, seeing through clothing behind red

& white spirals--past the pink parts of breasts
and under skirts into the meat, the bloodstream:

the amazing division of abnormal white
blood cells dancing under veins for me

like the grass on the skirt
of a dashboard hula girl.

My daughter answers flight, definitively and without
pause, craning her small neck to the sky to look for birds

and airplanes while we hold hands in parking lots, because
she doesn’t yet know about the infinitely expanding blossom

between my bones. A pair of seagulls encircle the hot tin
cars; their caws shatter the air as they cast shadows over us--

in one fell swoop, they dive down, fighting desperately over
discarded trash, drawing blood, looking for bits of food.

Jen Hahn Nielsen is a poet and taxidermist from the Midwest. She's currently an MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University, and her work can be found in Prairie Schooner, Heavy Feather Review, Rock & Sling, and elsewhere.

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