after Stoker (2013)
What a curse: how I hate to be touched at all—a boiled-hard
shell, a bell jar of birthday smoke. I need not food or drink—
I am beyond repair. A pair of saddle shoes outgrown at last,
at last a blister, a clump of lavender for the funeral parlor.
My silent and invisible partner, visible to only me. The curtain
drawn, clocks paused, each mirror under tarpaulin, then I
retire to my room, with a brown recluse, its spinnerets up my
paneled skirt and labia. Longingly, there is someone there on
the end of the phone—the switch hook clicks, someone at the
rifle’s muzzle and magazine, my eyepiece against you, your rag
wool shoulder in mustard seed. Please don’t spoil it—I made the
evening nice, nice as wine tannins, as my mother’s blouse, soiled
in lymph and spray, in splotch of scarlet, in fresh decay.
Emily Corwin is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Indiana University, as well as the former poetry editor of Indiana Review. Emily’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Salamander, Black Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, New South, Yemassee, DIAGRAM, THRUSH, and elsewhere. Her first full-length collection, tenderling, was published in 2018 from Stalking Horse Press. She was a finalist for the 2018 Pleiades Press Editors Prize and recently, her manuscript Sensorium was chosen for publication with the University of Akron Press (forthcoming in April 2020).