Issue > Poetry
Jennie Malboeuf

Jennie Malboeuf

Jennie Malboeuf is a native of Kentucky. Her work is forthcoming in Poet Lore and the Potomac Review, is featured on The Pinch, was awarded a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Award, was a finalist for the Arts & Letters Rumi Prize, the Akron Poetry Prize, the Iowa Review Prize and was shortlisted by the Missouri Review Editors' Prizes. She lives in North Carolina and teaches writing at Guilford College.

The Brass Bell

I rang it like I lived
in a happy home.
Like the white walls
shone with the Holy Ghost.
The old man from the t.v.
store gave it to me
when we bought a unit
wrapped in wood,
a piece of furniture
with flickering pictures
and bright lights. Inside
the store, a wall of glass
boxes all lit with the same
images. At home, ours
was broken; one reel ran
but the sound didn't carry.
We'd sit in front of it in awe,
little people somewhere else
I'd tell my brother
             without saying.
The new one stopped before
long. Its shell of a structure
took up three square feet
in the attic. Meanwhile
the brass bell, lime green
gnome atop, its crown, head,
shoulder, waist, mouth, lip,
tiny clapper. He is with me still.
Cheer, mirth. The Book of Daniel.

The Leonids

On the best of days, I hear
that guy who called me
sultry at a party three years ago
while 10cc played heady and strange
on the radio.
             On the worst, I think of
the year I lost my virginity:
I watched the stars like sperm
and read Charles Wright nonstop.
I sported lip gloss with a pink sheen
and a blue toboggan with a white ball
on top. The world was exploding.
All the while, I let this boy lay beside
me in a cowfield in Kentucky.
For seconds between starshots,
I closed my eyes (filling with wet,
milky-way glaze).
              In November, I saw hundreds
of meteorites. In December, the ground
was ticking with the bodies of living birds.

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