Paean

I have survived a night of ribbons & prayer
flags, confetti glitter & street music, uncurbed
stupor & fireworks, paling now in the waking
mind’s exaggerated light. The morning breaks hard
with its insistent re-becoming. It curves long
in its celestial privilege. But praise this house
with sagging rafters. Praise the stone foundation,
the earthen undertow, the caulk-rot & mouse-bone
& flecks of latex paint. I watched the world
through warped windowpanes. I tried to taste
the dust of dead stars in rose-patterned teacups.
Who knew the universe could so subtly helix
my breathing cells to trilobites & iron ore?
Praise this morning’s ravenous need for brightness.
Praise the weight of houses & horseshoes & asteroids.

 

 

 

 

Jen Ashburn is the author of The Light on the Wall (Main Street Rag, 2016). Her work has appeared in numerous venues, including The Writer’s Almanac, The MacGuffin, and Whiskey Island. She holds an MFA from Chatham University and lives in Pittsburgh.