Listen to Jennifer Ruth Jackson read her poems.


Thoracotomy in Eden

Indentation in my chest, I’m sew(n) together now.
Did you see the surgeon saw my rib in half?
Where is the missing piece? Could I have a funeral
or wake of ash when not under anesthesia?

I wish I could carve runes in the bone, a story
carried deep, and summon Eve who will love me
more than Adam because I’ll give her agency
and apples and all the pretty red things I possess —

like the four-inch scar on my chest I dedicate to her.



A film of soreness settles onto my skin (absorbs) reels into my neck and head. I watch fan blades blur into the ceiling as ache arches through my system. I’m having a dream of agony with open eyes and clenched teeth. My body mingles with my sheets and leaves impressions. Leaves outside my window are falling, falling. Sky crashes through my roof and dances on my scalp. Me, Atlas-hat askew, avoids the glare of sunlight heating my angry bones like copper coils. Chronic: This pain-filled horizon is forever. I bury myself in piles of blankets and scream for release until a flock of mother birds alight on a power line across the street and sing me into uneasy rest. Winged notes carry me from myself.



Jennifer Ruth Jackson is an award-winning poet and fiction writer whose work has appeared in Red Earth Review, Banshee, and more. She runs a blog for disabled and neurodivergent creatives called The Handy, Uncapped Pen from an apartment she shares with her husband. Follow her on Twitter @jenruthjackson.