tonight the great waters rise behind her eyes and wash
dull-moon hair down her back. the skin around her bones
screams for a certain shade of justice— revised like Anne
Frank’s diary— drowned like the poorest aboard—
and she cannot soothe it with tea. nor shutting
the curtains. not even smashing pretty cosmetic mirrors
against her gas-stovetop. filthy starlight rapes her room
and although she is pale she bathes in it,
finally. after trying everything, wildly resisting, she sinks
into an old mattress as one million coffins may be
lowered into measured holes at once. yes, each consciousness
is an excavation; flint left burning after the foot-
army moves on. and perhaps that is why her skin
screams so. and her bulge when she thinks
too hard, tsunamis worse than destructive: pitiful.
Emma Karnes was born in Rochester, New York and now lives in Ithaca, New York. She has had poems published in Cyclamens and Swords, Verbaleyze’s “Reaching Beyond the Skies: Young Writers’ Anthology,” and Word Soup End Hunger. Emma continues to write poetry and hopes to share her work with as many people as possible.