The Luminous Woman

She was known to suffer—

—erased description of Anna Marano, 1934, from Spontaneous Human Combustion, by Jenny Randles and Peter Hough, 1992

She was known to suffer—

the effect began to emerge from the breast area—

They were ready to film 

the radiant power of her blood 

dribbled away, the discarded scrapbook of science

Her brief spells as a human glow worm 

a deep sleep emerging blue 

asthmatic and electrical fields, the alleged wounds 

a tiny jolt of surprise—

the act of kissing 

involves moisture from the saliva 

of the mouth, an excellent contact—

Anna had built up an excess, 

the force was very real 

His fingers were ‘sunburnt’

the body of the unfortunate witness

a floating mass quite literally smoking 

Smoke pouring from his trousers 

narrowly averted causing her hair 

to burst into flames—

People living alone 

are not able to ‘earth’ 

ANNAH BROWNING is the author of the poetry collection Witch Doctrine (University of Akron Press, 2020) and the chapbook The Marriage (Horse Less Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, Willow Springs, and elsewhere. She is co-editor of Grimoire Magazine and a Professor of English at Blackburn College.

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