Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

Asbestos

by Alexandra Umlas

Birthed out of fireproofing
on metal beams,
the word spins in the mouth,
cocoons in the lung’s lining,
a slow, disastrous metamorphosis.

A variety of white moth
climbs out, undetected,
delicate, durable, impure,
it stretches
its mineral insidiousness—
an inhaled flapping of wings.

The unsettling is granularly soft:
the rattle of windows
or teeth in the bitter cold.
Alexandra Umlas is a recent graduate of California State University Long Beach's MFA Poetry program. You can find her work in Rattle, Shrew Literary Journal, Rise Up Review, and RipRap, among others.