National Poetry Month Day 5: Emily Skillings






Like an erotic dream
in which I
in dark overalls
run over my body
a lint roller
until the argument
no sorry sorry
the garment
disappears completely
—sheets after sheets
of sticking black
jeté into the
mouth of the garbage—
I want to remove
the sun of you
from my stone
Emily said
they told her
they said
she wrote like a man
was it in a class
or on paper
I think she was bragging
precisely because
I got so jealous
it was like a light
jacket thrown over
her shoulders
in sixty-five degrees
her foot casually holding open the door
after a question posed
to the person inside
not caring how they answer
the foot is removed
oh bring me that rock
to smash me in I
would take any pill
to drown in green
to make nothing
the baby
the lover
the voicemail, the wasp
the electronic trace
at the curve of thought
that interrupts this
this hyperactive
wet vellum brain
get out, out
get off
it feels so good
going through
I can’t stop
you’re dead now
or slightly eternal
the air of the answer
drinking it down

Emily Skillings is the author of the poetry collection Fort Not (The Song Cave, 2017), which Publishers Weekly called a “fabulously eccentric, hypnotic, and hypervigilant debut,” as well as two chapbooks, Backchannel (Poor Claudia) and Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants (No, Dear/ Small Anchor Press). Recent poems can be found in Poetry, Harper’s, Boston Review, Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, Hyperallergic, Lit Hub, and jubilat. Skillings is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective, small press, and event series. She received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Creative Writing Teaching Fellow in 2017, and has taught creative writing at Yale University, Parsons School of Design, Poets House, the 92nd Street Y, and through Brooklyn Poets. More from this author →