Originally appearing in Flypaper Poetry Issue VII.
Emma Bolden is the author of House Is An Enigma (SEMo Press, 2018), medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013). The recipient of a 2017 NEA Fellowship, she serves as Associate Editor-in-Chief for Tupelo Quarterly. Emma Bolden’s poetry and prose has appeared (or will soon appear) in such journals as the Black Warrior Review, Puerto del Sol, Shenandoah, New Madrid, the Mississippi Review, TriQuarterly, Story Quarterly, The Pinch, Waccamaw, The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, Conduit, the Indiana Review, the Greensboro Review, Redivider, Verse, Feminist Studies, The Journal, Guernica, and Copper Nickel. Bolden has been featured on Poetry Daily and in Verse Daily’s Web Weekly series, and her work was chosen for inclusion in Best Small Fictions 2015, Best American Poetry 2015, and The Norton Introduction to Literature (13th Edition).
What Women's Work Is
A fist in the blender. A hook of hunger
handing out free dinners to a swarm of fins.
A hunger without a hook, without a fish.
The bones of a fish whose flesh finned off
in the mouth of a black cat. A black cat’s back.
My own back turned or against the wall: no
other options. My eighty cents to his dollar. My human
to his resources. My heart blessed but God knows
why she didn’t know she shouldn’t have spoken out
of her place. My first place is his last place, lit yellow as a sign.
Dead end. My yellow belly cowarded, quiet. My good
girl. My silence wild in the mouth I’m paid to keep shut.
Alan Chazaro- In a Vernacular of Speculation
Deema K. Shehabi-
A Summer's Tale with Fire Birds
Kayleb Rae Candrilli-
Julianne Neely- 2 Poems
Jake Bailey- 2 Poems
Fargo Tbakhi- 2 Poems
Justin Phillip Reed-
Naomi Shihab Nye-
Keith Leonard- Jukebox
CAConrad- 3 Poems
Roya Marsh- for (insert name)
Stephanie Kaylor- LONG DISTANCE
Tongo Eisen Martin-
A Sketch about Genocide
Despy Boutris- BLOODTEETH
JinJin Xu- Days of Hourless Mothers
Ashley M. Jones- Flour, Milk & Salt
Sam Herschel Wein- How To Cook Your Family
Marianne Chan- 2 poems
Jason Crawford- PReP
Geramee Hensley- Redundancy Limit
Dustin Pearson- My Brother Outside the House in Hell
DT McCrea- On occasion of my own death
Noor Hindi- Unkept
Linda Dove- Mid-Life with Teeth
Stephen Furlong- I Don't Know About You, but Mostly I Just Want to be Held
Dorothy Chan- Because You Fall Too Fast Too Hard
Kevin Latimer- MIRAGE
Taylor Byas- Rooftop Monologue
Matt Mitchell- FINE LINE TRIPTYCH
Todd Dillard- Will
Heidi Seaborn- Under The Bed
Heather Myers- A Rainbow, Just For A Minute
Donna Vorreyer- In The Encyclopedia of Human Gestures
Conor Bracken- THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO TO A MAN
Ben Purkert- 2 Poems
Emma Bolden- What Women's Work Is
Chelsea Dingman- Lockdown Drill
Raych Jackson- Pantoum for Derrion Albert from the Plank
Elliot Ping- in the eighth grade
ii. dance moves
D.A. Powell- Sneak