Washington Square Review

Emily Brandt



I sharpen my nails on the hard sand of Thebes. 

I position a black bow between my shoulders. 

I invite birds to roost in my hair, peck seeds.

I pluck the color from glass, release thistles.

I ignore water and land, fill my palette with fire.

I confuse Philomene with Philomel while filling my urn. 

I flatiron and can’t feel my breasts with these hands.

I accept your invitation to skin my nose.

I see clearly to our other side and it stuns.

I weave a world of rainbow armor.

I declare myself and the hour turns violet.