2015 Festival

Emily Jaeger

Emily Jaeger is an MFA candidate at UMASS Boston and co-editor/co-founder of Window Cat Press. The recipient of the Mary Curran scholarship for writing, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Four Way Review, Soundings East, and Incessant Pipe Salon among others. Her chapbook The Evolution of Parasites is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press July 2016.



you approach from the back,
            servant to a palace.
                        Shed your human smell
                                    between reeds
of lemongrass,
            holding coals in tin jars,
                        accordions pumping.
When you slide the knife
             through waxed-over creases,
                          you pull off the
wood cover to find
           the moon of a thousand bodies
Oxygen of fanned wings
            mountains and gorges of
                        hexagonal print wax
                                    larva capped in
for the winter.
           Honey—smell it
                       through the smoke in your
            As you sort through the planet
                        frame by frame
the workers bump your face
                                    convex of kneecap.
Thread your yellow constellation
            for one instant
                        onto the morning air.


Sing me one more
yellow song of oblivion:
the neighbor’s curse-chant
as he leads the plow.
Drooling oxen
pirouette eight legs
into a single row.

Last year I planted too,
foot-pressed yucca stems
into waterlogged earth.

The tajy trees bloom
seven days of yellow,
the last spoonful of winter
cupped in frilly trumpets.

The seeds are underground
and we can still dream
of tubers larger than thighs
before they sprout.

I’ve returned my field
to the weeds
it’s how I say


    From Female Corpse Back View
    Hyman Bloom, 1947

Oh gentle ones,
grasping your scalpels like lace-makers,
what you would discard
as no heart no brain no lungs:

cumbia squealing down
the column of her spine,
buttocks thick
from sitting Augusts
in the cumin-pepper smell
of her sweat.
Lying alone for years.
Lying with love
and dogs at her feet.

You’ve drained the blood,
picked the cauliflower-edged
tumor from her uterus
written and left. Now the resting hum.
Now the white room and this week’s
cool earth wanting her:
empty hands folded
beneath the chest.

Posted on 2015-11-30

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