From Vol. 9: Four Poems by Emily Blair

Poetry: Emily Blair

An IUD Is a Silver Bullet That Could Kill Me

so I’m not taking recommendations at this time.
Instead this body is as this body does
smoke sometimes. I quit and quit quitting. In the dark of a power outage,
I live alone and lie awake in the silence of a thousand people panicking
inside our little homes, 5 rooms of an apartment alone
and by a single candle’s light I crochet an item that’s getting smaller
with each row’s turn. It’s turning into a triangle. Maybe
I’ll make the most useless red arrow
to point toward my options.
My bank account is empty. I make more than my parents made
when they raised two kids in a trailer who went on
to love and be left and teach. In front of the class
I tell them about me. I make myself large and important, fill rooms with my voice,
take up space, take a pregnancy test, it’s negative,
start bleeding five hours later at a hockey game.
My friends hug my relieved body in their arms. They know. Do you?
I wish I hadn’t spent twenty dollars on a pregnancy test
but god what if. Eaten through my body, alien, no, not in me.
In the darkness and silence
I am an animal
in its hole of a home with nothing on the walls. I am still, yet,
a single body
in a single body, a single person
in an echoing place.

Love Poem: For the Man Who Feels Ghostly Even in My Arms

our hands pressed together make cemetery

rot-hole-body lover, that we make bodies infinite
& place them into a shifting earth
shows so much hubris

between our palms, things stay dead & thus immortal

visit the space between our bodies, hot & throbbing,
overwhelm, disappear

rot-hole lover, can you believe
thanks to gravity we might, imperceptibly, draw one another
closer with crushing force?

have you ever, while driving, restrained yourself
from sending your car, this car you control
with such seemingly insignificant motions of your extremities,
over the side
of an infinite ravine? that’s the same primary color
as sex.              that’s the same primary color
as folding me
until I tear into damp pieces, a barroom-coaster-person,
the pamphlet at a funeral
wrenched between shaking hands

Love Poem: For Frogs, and Their Descendants

open your mouth & swallow.

I learned something once about osmosis. the same inside & outside.
we have water inside & outside. open your throat.

lake water, with the soft decay-made silt flitting around your ankles,
will kill you.
one of those brain-eating amoebas will get inside
& eat you
from the inside out.

open wider—take down
minnows, toads, great catfishes
with ancient faces. I want to drown
while watching this setting sky.


my body melts & ruins sheets, I am so sorry,
connective tissue lover.
remember your hips
rotate in all directions. can I zip our spines together,
socket to socket, knuckles inside knuckles, I want to eat & be eaten,
consume & be consumed, can I
take you on my tongue—
can you believe we are transformed
in this exact moment over me, night sky, body of galaxy,
mouthful of teeth, lens flare, hand up to shield
from a too-bright earth-end collision


my face is a chemical fire, peeling.
soon you will see my teeth
& bones. soon you will witness the indiscernible twitch
of my eye muscles as they spasm
to take in your body. a body feels smooth, looks smooth from the outside,
but it’s always twitching.

watch me hold a smile. see my lips held back, held farther back still,
my whole open face—teeth, teeth & their roots, white gums, white on white, baby,
baby look at me. even your steadiest gaze
is nothing
but infinite corrections & over-corrections,
a unicycle, a boat stayed
across ceaseless waves

When I Say I Dream about Eating Men

you think oh man, that sounds hot. and you’re right.
but what I mean is

I’ll spatchcock your entire body
clip out your spine and hang it
from the tailpipe of my Honda Civic
look at me fellas, look at the size
of my kill—
put you on my George Foreman grill and squish
different parts of you, it’s so convenient
because you don’t have to fire up a whole grill,
George Foreman really was onto something here

I mean I want to absorb your energy, nutrients, calories
something! give me anything, you fucks,
for once. I’ll become stronger by eating your beating heart
with my hands, hang you by your ankles
from a tree and split you open neck to navel
to release still-steaming innards,
make sausage, cut flank steak, it’s a family affair,
save the hide for later, make a coat, make a sheath
for a knife I carry everywhere just in case
that I whittled myself
out of your femur that reaches down
to my knee, I’ll touch it when you
get a little mouthy next time—

and you think wow, this sounds pretty violent and I want you to look me in the face,
look me in my eyes, and tell me
men have been less violent
than this
to me
since I was eleven years old

Emily Blair is a queer Appalachian poet and blue-collar scholar originally from Fort Chiswell, Virginia. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she teaches English at a community college. Her first chapbook of poetry, WE ARE BIRDS, is available from dancing girl press. More publications and contact information can be found on her website,


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