Poem by Emilia Joan Hamra
This is the uncaging.
I lift the lid from a little round box
Where my new silk dress lies coiled
Like a snake upon a rat.
Its pleats contain secrets.
No one but Fortuny himself knows
Exactly how they are formed,
Like the folds of a mushroom.
If it rains in my garden while I am walking there,
Unlaced and mythic,
I will have to send the dress back to have it repleated.
Underneath, I have never been so naked—
No corset, no petticoat, nothing but my own skin.
I could come from a time when women were gods too.
I could be the Charioteer,
With her one bronze arm and horse fragments.
I could put an animal’s fur between my eyebrows.
I could lift my skirt and take the world between my legs.
Emilia Joan Hamra lives in Philadelphia where she founded and edits The Shoutflower, a print journal of art and literature. Her work is published in Occulum, giallo lit, Santa Ana River Review, the tiny, and others. You can find her on Instagram @shetalkstobees