Excerpt from The Face of the Earth by Emily Vogel


The following poem appears in our Spring 2016 Digital Issue. Read the rest of Emily’s poem and the entire issue by downloading it.

And the wind chime takes flight into the April air. And the
wheelbarrow remains overturned in the dirt, and the hunky
piece of wood beside it could be mistaken for a dead animal.
I walk gingerly so as not to stamp on your face. Because
your face is the face of a woman in labor, some dead of
night, when all the hospital staff are exhausted. The
earth, woman with child, daughter waking before dawn and
speaking the language of blue ghosts. The earth. Let me not
commit you to the usual genocides. Let me not become the
genocide itself, railing at you with noise and the heft of my
body. Let me be weightless. Let me be the deer that scarcely
even touch the ground with their hooves in front of my
house. Let me know, like them, that everyone at once needs
to be left alone. For the branches on the trees know all too
well, and I am ignorant: an ephemeral human cast upon by
some great unblinking eye. And I cannot look into the eye,
because it would be the first gesture to finally kill me, and let
me sink beneath you, like a lover.

Emily VogelEMILY VOGEL’S poetry has been published widely, most recently in Omniverse, The Paterson Literary Review, The San Pedro River Review, and 2 Bridges Review, among several others. She is the author of five chapbooks, and a full-length collection, The Philosopher’s Wife, (2011, Chest River Press), a collaborative book, West of Home, with Joe Weil (Blast Press), and a recently released collection, First Words (NYQ Books).

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