by Emma Bolden

Taurus, meaning stubborn, meaning bull-thinking, meaning mother’s hand, a red ghost haunting my cheek, meaning meat, untouched on the wide white palate of plate, sweating its juices, its stench of old blood. My stomach hungered space and time. Galaxies taunted me, each star a filed and sharpened tooth. At night, I dreamt of distances—shifting shades of jungle, greened trees and shrubs, which offered up a thousand fragrances beyond beliefs, subtle yet unstable, as even the world was unstable. Even the world of table, knife, hand held firmly to fork. My eyes staring down my mother’s eyes. I will not eat, I will not want.

Emma Bolden’s chapbooks include How to Recognize a Lady (part of Edge by Edge, Toadlily Press), The Mariner’s Wife (Finishing Line Press), and The Sad Epistles (Dancing Girl Press). She was a finalist for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s First Book Prize and for a Ruth Lily Fellowship. She is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Georgia Southern University.