National Poetry Month Day 19: Katie Farris





Emiloma: A Riddle & An Answer


Will you be
my death, breast?
I had asked you
in jest and in response
you hardened—a test
of my resolve? Malignant
magnificent palimpsest.


Will you be
my death, Emily?
Today I placed
your collected poems
over my breast, my heart
knocking fast
on your front cover.


Will you be
my death, chemo?
The shell of my self
in the sphere of time
plucking, plucking
the wool of my hair
from its branches.


Will you be
my death, Emily?
And keep the sky
from reaching inside—
you, the voice; me, the faithful echo?
Will you be
my death, echo?


Do you know—no
in which meadow—mow
the gingko grows—goes
which is fallow, which furrowed—foes
what is winnowed, what is—woe.


Photograph of Katie Farris courtesy of Katie Farris.

Katie Farris is the author of the hybrid-form text boysgirls (Marick Press, 2011; Tupelo Press 2019) and the chapbooks A Net to Catch my Body in its Weaving (Beloit Poetry Journal’s Chad Walsh Series, forthcoming in 2021), Thirteen Intimacies (Fivehundred Places, 2017), and Mother Superior in Hell (Dancing Girl, 2019). Her work has appeared in literary journals including Poetry, The Nation, The Believer, and The Massachusetts Review. She is the co-translator of several books of poetry, including Gossip and Metaphysics: Russian Modernist Poems and Prose. She is currently Associate Professor of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Institute of Technology. More from this author →