Ash Bowen is the author of The Even Years of Marriage (winner, 2012 Orphic Prize, Dream Horse Press). Other work has appeared in New England Review, Blackbird, Baltimore Review, Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, Best New Poets, and elsewhere in print and online. He teaches creative writing and literature at Minot State University.
The Metallurgist’s Son
My father was a lonely motor so he forged
a flywheel from the softest metals, siphoned
the last of the laughing gas and trickle-charged
the battery on the woman he'd abandoned.
She squinted when he took her out of storage
and kicked until the ether tugged her under.
She unbolted like a bride upon her marriage
bed, aglow beneath the surgery of his welder.
Her drugged eyes opened in the post-op dark
and winced at where their metals met. And with
this flywheel, I thee wed: he swore to smith
a son who spoke her dialect of metal.
She stiffened at the sight of his steely stork
alighting on her stirrups, ankles, et al.