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Emily Holland


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.

emilyholland author photo.JPG

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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