Beds I Have Slept In

I suppose before memory, I slept in a dresser drawer. The safest bed while storms raged was my mother’s. Then came the first bed of sex, moonlit and snowy, the bed of marriage, strange beds and a bed too large for one.

I gaze through the lacy windows at the red bird in the new snow and think of my death bed. Is it the final slumber or just a napping spot until my lovers find me again sleeping in a dresser drawer?

Emily Florence



Standing on the causeway, she looked for the downtown bus. The acid sun pricked at her so she focused on the hibiscus, also an angry red. After work, the rain was heavy. He couldn’t pick her up. Too busy, he said.

When he left her arms at night though she couldn’t say why, she cried. She took up smoking and drinking now and then while the war escalated.

Emily Florence



Your hand rests at the small of my back, your fingers brushing my skin like grasses caught in a warm breeze. The breeze becomes an arid gale, sweeping us over the desert, curtained by the moon so only lovers can see.

We traverse the perception of the night and return intact as the new light seeps in, but for the pale blossom of a saguaro and an eagle feather, so subtle, they do not touch.

Emily Florence



The palest of yellow, I place them in a clear ginger jar. With unassuming beauty, they shoot up from the earth like comets, do not protest when I bring them inside and do not whimper when they begin to fade. In the coolness of my room, delicate, sweet and wild, they show me how to be.

Emily Florence


Like Children

My hands and cheeks stung from the March wind and the yellow light beckoned

through the skeleton oaks, yet I could not bring her in and end my child’s game. 

The wild bobbing and swooning of my crimson kite to currents I could not know

made me understand that my creation, once in flight, was no longer mine. 

Emily Florence 



The stone, tossed by a storm down the canyon’s red walls, comes to rest in a thicket of mint. Jack rabbits and wolves tense at the lonely echoes.

 The warm waxing moon fills the crevices of the canyon and washes the facets of the stone to a brilliance. 

I am the canyon. You are the stone.

Emily Florence  



The Woman’s Room

In Saudi’s Arabia, women are punished for infidelity by being locked in a room constructed in her own home, soundproofed, a hole in the center for waste and a slot in the door for food to be passed through. She remains there until death, never to hear the sound of another human voice. Many go mad and all die within a short span of time. Her fate is decided by her father or her husband. Not all men choose this punishment. It is called the Woman’s Room. 

 I will be your silent subjugate, my father, your dominion I assume. Give me another way to compensate and save me from the woman’s room. 

My lover gave me a silvered mirror, the reflection showing a different fate. Your legacy to me is to corner and trap in this suspended state.  

From my cocoon I am metamorphic on wings of maroon and deepest teal. In flight I transcend the Arabic, my sisters caught in the spokes of a wheel. 

 I will scream until the truth is unveiled, until hooded eyes have been impaled. 

Emily Florence  



In My Garden

There grows foxglove, primrose, heather and yarrow, sage, dianthus, lavender and laurel. Each day I review, nurture and tend and wonder about that which is beneath the ground.

Some say that for strength, the roots have to search, that amending the soil diminishes reach. I will offer myself to you someday and become a helix with feet of clay. The lack of amendments will not subdue my rise from decay to a skin of blue. 

But now is the time to feel the August warmth and smell the dusk drifting in from the south, to watch the play of sun on the purples and greens and persuade the brief blossoms, linger their wings.

Emily Florence  


“Hope” Is The Thing With Feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers — that perches in the soul — and sings the tune without the words — and never stops — at all — and sweetest in the Gale is heard — and sore must be the storm that could abash the little Bird that kept so many warm — I’ve heard it on the chillest land — and on the strangest Sea — Yet, never, in the Extremity, it asked a crumb of Me.

Emily Dickinson