by Emma Bolden
Inside the garden I could pretend
I had caught fever, a frenzy of fire
flowers, the ochre ache one expects
of a tree. I could hear passion, a hum
trapped in the tooth of the wolf
I watched until she trusted me
with her hunger. I wore her
hide. I was a revival, an August,
a shattered crescendo of wishing
for wanting, this ragged waiting
inside of. I choked. The blood
I expected. I said that I wanted.
I said that I wanted to be flayed
and carnal, I said that I wanted
to be thrust and shuddered
under any him willing to be violent
as a god. I said that I wanted to
understand the point and the hilt
of the sword, I wanted to know
life gorged and garnet as
the howl inside of every red.
I tasted fang and honey heavy
as hatred, I tasted tongue, I wanted
this ragged with waiting, with shame.
Emma Bolden is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013). She’s also the author of four chapbooks of poetry — How to Recognize a Lady (Toadlily Press); The Mariner’s Wife, (Finishing Line Press); The Sad Epistles (Dancing Girl Press); This Is Our Hollywood(The Chapbook) – and one nonfiction chapbook – Geography V (Winged City Press). A Barthelme Prize and Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Prize winner, her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry and The Best Small Fictions as well as such journals as The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, Conduit, and Copper Nickel.