Two Poems | by Emily Corwin


oh you, you must live to be hush, my honeydew
—I have to have you, your ankle, your hormone, the
ladybirds twisting there against your scalp. I never want

to check my email ever again today. never want the copious
blood in my hole, I would hate to be left on the cool, white
stairs without any rosebuds from the bachelor. and today,

I purchased a very large box of strawberries, astonishing
and huge, and there was a dead baby sugar-ant in one of the
sepals. such tiny beings tend to sicken me, but now that I think

about it, how many have fed me, on accident? haven’t they carried
me all this while? and recently, truthfully, I couldn’t find any
pictures of kindness. I will party all night if I have to,

I will show my face all day if I have to, I am still so pink
at the center—cold-armed and mortal with my socket click,
my chipped julep nails, fluorescent as status updates. I dread any

length of time alone with myself, ashen like a wax museum. I long
to wilt into your breast pocket and be carried home. oh my
hush, I thought myself unlovable for so long. maybe I

was made for this soft tissue, this taut buckle of yours, oh, to
go with you into the coffins, to see lilac in that darkest staircase.




the long winter is to get through
for and after Mary Catherwood

oh darling fevered, oh pumpkin, oh snuggle, why aren’t you here?
why did you not bring a thing from that intimate asylum for me? I
am spiritless, broken up and eye-hurt, gored through like silks for
sewing. oh, I go around with a stone on me, I wear loose fruits in
the crumples of my sickbed. could someone come spit on me, make
a blood-sizzle? always your own, with much love—


                                                                                  if you see a rotted apple, a speck of bleach, a
                                                                              hospital dress—no velveteen lingerie, stripped
                                                                                backbone. if floods and swift-moving curse, if
                                                                                   you bury the horses together, if you reach it
                                                                                   never—this long distance, this bed is where
                                                                                                                          your longing happens.


I moved too much today, I lifted things—the coal, ashes,
persimmon, permission. there is too much of you at once
—you must be torn up into blood droplet, must be broken
clean with sickness. do not think me beast-like. my speech
is always a kind of bitter. darling, you must burn this also—


                                                                                         this burned-over road, this black spruce,
                                                                                          swamp oak, horsetail, rushes & iris. this
                                                                                           something to hide. this row of houses—
                                                                                        each time going through a door, my river
                                                                                       -sides in flood, these water-laid materials,
                                                                                                                                     this ache & acre.


this first heat, this hazel and allergen, this lung-fever—the soul
of me ripe as cambric for pretty summer, hung up in the cellar
rooms. I do wonder if you love me every moment. I scatter
myself in the rosewood chair and today is my birthday. please,
let me into you as into a casket. always my own love—


                                                                                           I don’t know if this is the face anymore,
                                                                                            I tend to become very obsessed with us
                                                                                            last night, all night my prozac feeling, I
                                                                                        was no longer decayed meat piece on the
                                                                                              tar. you really let me, I told you of my
                                                                                                                            spirit being sick once


my dear weepy-eyed one, I cannot hunt you, not knowing
where you are. go on your knees before me, go to the pine
woods with unspeakable fear. this haunting that I have done
something wrong to you—it is too much like the working
of delirium. I don’t like it, I must shake off this deadness
like a sepulcher. with very much love—


                                                                          I need to find an animal that represents courage,
                                                                          to plunge inside him with marigolds & egg shells
                                                                        & margarine, a quantity of water & it will become
                                                                            breakable. have you ever seen such a rapid eye,
                                                                      the largest of any land mammal, the most earthen?
                                                                        if you have ever, you know the urges, compulsion
                                                                                               to bite this collection of cells beneath


this tiredness which enters me and stays too often and so very long,
it is something I actually worry over. I feel the need of seeing you, in
your dining room. we have so much living before us—a century of
banquets. I broke a muscle today, the doctor said to stay gentle, so
I am. do not despise me for collapsing. I am swallowed altogether.
with dear love always—


                                                                 called up the pharmacist and already felt like I failed.
                                                                  the primrose inside, under my blushes, it knows I am
                                                                    leaving for longer than a moment of your time. how
                                                             stupid to ask the correct address to your own room fifty
                                                                   thousand acres from mine. as if a sycamore cracking
                                                              through my nuclei, as if I was ever supposed to be your
                                                                                                                         companion of any kind


what is the matter with you—I have looked for you every single day. the doctors say I can disappear with surgical treatment. follow me under the dark, under black chantilly lace and lavender. please have your home address burnt into me, permanent with a stick from the silver maple. I wish we could talk tonight, I feel like a criminal. let me atone—


                                                                                                         follow this crinoline holding up
                                                                                                          a curve, follow my bent hand &
                                                                                                    bralette, the moment of emotional
                                                                                                       connection, the swirled roses, be
                                                                                                       unafraid here, be meaningful for
                                                                                                         me with sugar high & antacid &
                                                                                                        vodka shot—a cursor flickers on
                                                                                                     this message, unfilled & luminous




Emily Corwin is an MFA candidate in poetry at Indiana University-Bloomington and the former Poetry Editor for Indiana Review. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Gigantic Sequins, Day One, Hobart, Entropy, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, THRUSH, and elsewhere. She has two chapbooksMy Tall Handsome (Brain Mill Press) and darkling (Platypus Press) which were published in 2016. Her first full-length collection, tenderling is forthcoming in 2018 from Stalking Horse Press. You can follow her online at @exitlessblue.


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