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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

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