The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2016

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APR 2016 Issue
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Champion Flowers


I hope this note finds you feeling very comfortable.
I’m in the fourth antechamber on the right,
just trying something new on the picture.
There are buckets of color for our advancement—
amassed lilies make a green cave. Lightest sardines
tossed against dishwater light. Duplicate birds.
I caught a swelling node. How? It can happen.
Buildings grow along the timeline like bacterial crystals.
I found the wildest circles to shade through.
I admit I stressed about it, but it was productive.
It could be finished early as tomorrow.

In the daily revision everything gets toned way
way down. I feel squashed, but tell myself to power
around, metallic and thin, throw out the gaudy textiles.
The mold toxicity results arrive under the door.
It would be presumptive to say the dreariness of outside
will leave us feeling determined and invigorated.
The word format is gone. The word dwelling
disappears. The wall dissolves into a pile.
Just like that, as they often say.

I dim the Himalayan salt lamp. Nothing goes here.
I’ve tried almost everything. We let ourselves outside.
But now, doused in your new black felt cape, you look better
than ever before, bending to admire the gray rocks.
We make a blue line in the field with our breath.
Could this be diagrammed? I fear I am always tired.
You returning your back to me, a swivel
into a predetermined groove. I couldn’t get
that texture back after that day. It was gone.
Is a report possible? It is impossible.




Emily Skillings

Emily Skillings is the author of Fort Not (The Song Cave, 2017), as well as two chapbooks, Backchannel (Poor Claudia) and Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants (No, Dear/ Small Anchor Press). She is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective, small press, and event series, and splits her time between Brooklyn and Hudson, New York.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2016

All Issues