died May 2020. Had been withering already from my ribs; trampled petals, leaves rubbed to mush. Your hand [a hand is not a metaphor, is not creation] tugging root from marrow, apology from tongue. Once, I got very high in a room I don’t like to think about, and every object shook off its dust and began to dance. Or the room was laughing at me. Or I smothered my ears in a pillow but still could hear it. Your hands turned the doorknob and the doorknob obeyed, and desire was another word for hunger when I was unintentionally starving myself, when a friend mailed me a box of granola bars, a face mask, and note. Spring, in cinder blocks we planted begonias, red like inside a stomach, and I lost weight not because I wanted to look thinner, but for the same reason I stopped sleeping, your arm hanging over me or often not. Flowers know the language of shyness, curling away when faced with rough touch, but no one gets a tattoo without wanting the needle as well. By summer next, I’ll be unrecognizable to you, ribs under fat and bloat; flowers we planted grave.
EMMA EISLER (she/her) is a junior English major at Cornell University with a concentration in poetry. She is Editor in Chief of the university magazine, Kitsch, as well as a columnist for the independent newspaper, The Cornell Sun. She is a recipient of the Cornell University Dorothy Sugarman Undergraduate Prize for poetry and has been published in magazines including The Smart Set, Allegory Ridge, Cathexis Northwest Press, Prometheus Dreaming, Storm of Blue, Blackheart Magazine, SWITCHBACK, and Beyond Words. She was also a semi-finalist in Digging Through the Fat’s 2021 chapbook contest. Emma plans to continue pursuing a career in writing after she graduates.