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.

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.  


If you enjoy Nat. Brut and consider yourself a reader of the magazine, please consider donating to us! We are a fledgling non-profit on a shoe-string budget, and our staff is 100% volunteer (all of us!). Every dollar you give goes directly back into the operations of the magazine. Consider giving today!

Nat. Brut: The Responsible Future of Art and Literature

Nat. Brut  (pr. nat broot) is a journal of art and literature dedicated

to advancing inclusivity in all creative fields.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Tumblr Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • m-01

Site by Design Altar

© 2020 Nat. Brut Inc., All Rights Reserved.