ISSUE THIRTEEN | FALL 2019
Sometimes our bodies want to belong
to somewhere else. The barbed wire here
wraps itself around your wrists, each turn
a tightening. Drops of blood decorate
your arms and oh, how they glisten
in the Carolina heat. Then rust. Then
fall away. You see, the body and all its parts
wants to leave, but it can’t without
leaving bits behind. I grab
a chunk of cornbread out the door, save it
for a later that I’ll know. And I walk
away, watching the ground go from grass
to mulch to untended underbrush. Shoving
the crumbs in my mouth, I crave a glass
of milk. But it’s not here in the woods. The wire
starts its slow creep through the poison oak
vines. Swallowing is painful but sweet
and I think, yes, this was the right time,
it shouldn’t be saved any longer. This
is as far as the body is meant to go.
Emily Holland is a lesbian poet whose work can be seen in publications including bedfellows, Wussy, Screen Door Review, and FOLIO. Her debut chapbook of poems, Lineage, was released August 2019 from dancing girl press.
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