My Beautiful Radium

BY RENAE TUCKER

I. The ghost girls are glowing
in their graves, Mr. Savoy. It was only
a matter of numbers painted
to wristwatch. II. It might start
as a toothache, Mollie. It’s nothing.
Wear your finest dress to work. III.
Stroke hours for hours, you’ll surely
shine. IV. Somewhere in a lab, a man’s
skin hides behind a lead apron, but you,
you are invincible. V. When the ache
seeps through your gears and stops
your hands, they wont need you. VI.
Radium has a half-life of 1,600
years. VII. They will call you
silly and take your broken pieces
for keepsakes. VIII. It’s hard to hear
from a jawless mouth. IX. Silly
broken girl. X. Written on the certificate,
Syphilis. XI. They will use this
against you. XII. It will take a man.


Renae Tucker is a senior at Salisbury University majoring in English and minoring in Ethnic and Global Literature. She has a story published in Sun & Sandstone and a creative nonfiction essay published in Steel Toe Review. This year she has been nominated for the AWP Intro Journal Prize for creative nonfiction. She is the managing editor for Scarab, Salisbury’s in-house literary magazine.

Image Credit: Darron Birgenheier

 

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