fable: [ when the swarms fly off without a point or purpose ]
We will be the myth we make of ourselves. We bind our wrists in horse hair & cry with beef tongue. We are prisoners of a sultry war. We sink our river-skiffs with wine bottles. We pray to many gods. When we drink, we call ourselves many names: gam, legion, prey. We black out & bite our lips until they bleed. With cold meat, we ease our swelling. We're known to feed our milk-cows to the lions, our honeycombs to bears. We seal this vellum envelope with propolis. Into our eyes, we drip hot wax until we appear again blind, epicene, & young.
6 The Paris-American
Emilia Phillips received her BA at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University where she was the Levis Fellow for the coordination of the Levis reading prize. She is an associate literary editor of Blackbird and a recipient of a fellowship from Vermont Studio Center. Her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from AGNI, Birmingham Poetry Review, Cerise Press, The Collagist, Colorado Review, Ecotone,Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Indiana Review, The Journal, The Kenyon Review, Sycamore Review, Third Coast, and elsewhere. Her recently completed manuscript is titled Signaletics after a late 19th-century system of anthropometrical criminal identification, and the chapbook manuscript in which these poems appear is Bestiary of Gall.