By Emilia Phillips
My story’s told in the mis-dial’s
hesitance & anonyms of crank calls,
in the wires’ electric elegy
& glass expanded by the moth
flicker of filament. I call a past
that believes I’m dead. On the concrete
here, you can see where
I stood in rust, lashed to the grid.
On the corner of Pine & Idlewood,
I’ve seen a virgin on her knees
before the angel
of a streetlight & Moses stealing the Times
to build a fire. I’ve seen the city fly
right through a memory & not break
its neck. But the street still needs a shrine,
so return my ringing heart & no one
to answer it, a traveler whose only destination is
waywardness. Forgive us
our apologies, the bees in our bells, the receiver’s
grease, days horizoned
into words. If we stand
monument to anything,
it’s that only some voices belong
Source: Poetry (November 2015)
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When you caught one to keep,
we took it home and I asked you to teach me.
You showed me how to spike the brain—
I thanked the fish, looked away, pressed down.
We bled it, shaved away the scales,
severed meat from bone.
A Wing and a Prayer
We thought the birds were singing louder. We were almost certain they
were. We spoke of this, when we spoke, if we spoke, on our zoom screens
or in the backyard with our podfolk. Dang, you hear those birds? Don’t
they sound loud?...
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A spring snow coincides with plum blossoms.
In a month, you will forget, then remember
when nine ravens perched in the elm sway in wind.
I will remember when I brake to a stop,
and a hubcap rolls through the intersection.
An angry man grinds...
At the Equinox
The tide ebbs and reveals orange and purple sea stars.
I have no theory of radiance,
but after rain evaporates
off pine needles, the needles glisten.
In the courtyard, we spot the rising shell of a moon,
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i love you to the moon &
not back, let’s not come back, let’s go by the speed of
queer zest & stay up
there & get ourselves a little
moon cottage (so pretty), then start a moon garden
with lots of moon veggies (so healthy), i mean
i was already moonlighting
Self-Portrait with Sylvia Plath’s Braid
Some women make a pilgrimage to visit it
in the Indiana library charged to keep it safe.
I didn’t drive to it; I dreamed it, the thick braid
roped over my hands, heavier than lead.
My own hair was long for years.
Then I became...