Iron Spider

Jeff Encke

Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night with a clot of belladonna
  paste and baby teeth, a talking wound in my idiopathic breast.
Lactating under the cover of raw snow, the red shirt locks its claws
  into my flesh, spares the nipple its fearful embrace of the body.
Textbooks can induce a peripheral black patch of gangrene,
  with lesions in the upper medial portion of discomfort.
A painless lump falls and damages the surgeon—how things move
  sometimes, mimicking the peau d’orange skin of history.
I prescribe an ointment of bone formation and dermal radiation.
  I have tried it myself. A pathologist arises in the tissue.

Continue to “Mouth Pear”

About the Work

Jeff Encke

Jeff Encke’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Fence, Kenyon Review Online, Salt Hill, and Tarpaulin Sky. In 2004, he published Most Wanted: A Gamble in Verse, a series of love poems addressed to Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi war criminals printed on a deck of playing cards.

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