We were ivy covered, slick pine needle bed in love,
like it took five hundred years
to get here.
It was never any good.
I lost eighteen children here in the woods,
their hands slipping through mine—
they swift, and me running behind,
bright hair flashing in pools of sun
they always seemed to find,
brambles drawing blood
to mix with humus.
I lost them,
“He came out in pieces.”
She came out hard
The mountains hang heads
and I swing in the wind
from a tall pine tree—
fall deep into the river from a rock ledge
and take cold water
into this leaking body.
I have been filling
Emily Blair is the product of blue-collar Appalachia and a begrudging admiration of Modernist writers. A native of southwestern Virginia and a graduate of Virginia Tech, she is currently earning an MA in English at the University of Louisville. Her work has appeared in Maudlin House, Crab Fat Magazine, Otis Nebula, and Prairie Margins, among others.