Lord I love to aching all this sweet anonymity, to be a pulse lighting up a picture that is nothing like a face, a list of dosages a clear cup of the correct capsules the right dose of sleep & the right dose of waking, walking, a heart blooded but unburdened of all metaphor for feeling oceaning its waves so cleanly across the screen, I want to slip & sleep under its under, let the body tick off my time & tell each machine I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine.
Poem Written While Waiting for the Biopsy Results
I spent a lot of weathers trying to understand if I was the same person running as I was walking, if I lived inside or just beyond the body I folded to lie on the couch, the body I lifted to lie in the bed. In some poems the sky is an answer. In this one the answer is rain. Sometimes as a child I liked to imagine I could hear it, the buzz and sting of an other’s thoughts. Now I magic myself into thinking there is a way to not be thinking, not to be feeling the brutal wing of it, the insect that is the mind. Having mentioned the sky I would be remiss were I not also to say it cannot be trusted. All those swift-shifting sallows. Those acred ocres. Those greys that think nothing of hushing up a pink. In the end all metaphors mix until mess. There are so many ways to transform the body into the journey to find out what’s wrong with the body, to locate the place where it has decided to end itself. You won’t know when it begins, your life as a ghost. Which is after all a stillness you’ll notice only as a same that stays a same, the unrecognizably shallow pitch of a song that in life took you only one note to name.
Emma Bolden is the author of House Is an Enigma (Southeast Missouri State University Press), medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press), and Maleficae (GenPop Books). The recipient of an NEA Fellowship, her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, The Norton Introduction to Literature, and such journals as the Mississippi Review, The Rumpus, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, New Madrid, TriQuarterly, Shenandoah, and the Greensboro Review. She currently serves as Associate Editor-in-Chief for Tupelo Quarterly and an Editor of Screen Door Review. Her memoir, The Tiger and the Cage, is forthcoming from Soft Skull Press in 2022.
Is this thing honest?
Raphique Barakat is an Arab-American concept illustrator, editor, and musician born in California with a degree in Philosophy from Fresno State University. A couple of his films have won Best Music Video and Best Documentary from video competitions in his hometown, and has worked on many comedic projects as well. Currently residing in the metro Detroit area, he continues to blend his music, film, and drawings into his art. Raphique is currently working on an album under the moniker Shrinq Mountin.