Birds hang Emma Fox’s laundry.
She is the State Flower of Long Island.
Emma Fox sits next to me in chorus class
and I hope there’s scientific evidence of girls like
me turning pretty through osmosis.
Emma Fox was drinking with friends
walked floated across Sunrise Highway
and was struck by a car, her body
carried away by
Emma Fox’s rib bone poked through her lung
as if the lung was a doorbell and the rib
was a finger, asking her heart to prom.
Both Emma Fox’s clavicles were broken,
and the birds worried
from where will we drink?
It is cool to visit Emma Fox in the hospital.
I bring her a few word searches & crossword puzzles
I handmade for her. I made the answers
things I thought she’d like: puppies, lip gloss.
Emma Fox doesn’t wear make-up
with her hospital gown. Seeing her
without it is like undressing
the tinsel from Christmas and suddenly
there is nothing more beautiful
than a simple tree.
Here, the boys come
to visit, to bring bouquets
of jokes and charm. They hope
she is a hatching chick—that she will follow
them forever if they just happen to be there
the next time she opens her eyes.
When she does, finally, open
her eyes, all she asks for
is a mirror.
Emma Fox returns to school
in a wheelchair. She’s allowed to leave class
five minutes early to avoid the bustle
of the hall. She can choose any friend
to help carry her books.
It isn’t getting out of class
that makes the hands of the entire room
shoot up like eager flowers, desperate
to be picked—
it is her. It is the chance
to glide beside her, slow.
It is the empty
hallway, and hoping that, in the quiet
of it, she will lift up her shirt
and show us
Megan Falley is a full-time writer, performer, and a two-time winner of the Write Bloody Open Book Competition. Her first full-length collection of poetry After the Witch Hunt was published in 2012. Her forthcoming collection Redhead and the Slaughter King is slated for publication in Fall 2014. Falley was featured on TV One’s Verses & Flow, a television show dedicated to showcasing the best in spoken word. In 2012, she represented NYC at the National Poetry Slam as part of the LouderArts Team. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rattling Wall, TheUncommon Core, and a party of online journals. Falley teaches an online poetry course called “Poems That Don’t Suck,” dedicated to improving the craft of aspiring writers. In 2012, she toured the US and Canada for 100 days in her car, reading poems. She lives in Brooklyn with a dog named Taco. Visit her online at www.meganfalley.com.
Rachel Kertz was born in a small town in Missouri in 1988. While earning her degree at Southeast Missouri State University, she became interested in photography and began using her commutes as excuses to go on long drives through the rural countrysides, hoping to find locations and abandoned houses to photograph. She hopes to convey relatable stories in her images that speak to her audience on themes such as loneliness, love, exploration, and the feeling of being alone in unconventionally beautiful places. You can find more of her work here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atticgirl/