EMILY ROSE COLE
Emily Rose Cole is a poet, lyricist and tea-lover from Pennsylvania. Her debut album,
I Wanna Know was released in May of 2012 and is available on iTunes and Amazon.
Currently, she is an MFA candidate in poetry at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
She is the winner of numerous national poetry awards, including the Nancy D. Hargrove
Editor's Prize, the Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize, an Academy of American Poets University
Prize, and the Sandy Crimmins Award. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in
Nimrod, Jabberwock Review, Passages North, and Gulf Stream, among others.
The Bond Girls
We can be whoever you want, so long
as it's legs & a heart-shaped ass, so long
as it's piecemeal & shot from behind. We know
how to be a body with no face, a blank
space waiting for you to fill us. You take
your glass & your gun, we take your bullets
to our breasts like the mouths of children.
But don't mistake the smoke in our eyes
for real compassion: we never loved you,
James. But we understand you. We’re proud
of our names, kitschy as they are. They're ours.
Meanwhile, you're just a number that keeps coming
up, some drunk schmuck with a few good lines & a few
good shots, sweating through the last guy's suit.
The Target Girl Learns to Eat Knives
From the center of the wheel
that creaks like a bedspring,
you watch the knife leave his hand,
see it whorl in spirals tight as spandex.
His near-misses pin your hair,
notch the arch of your neck, grooved
teeth shuddering against your cheeks.
The wheel moans like the woman
you found contorted in his sheets.
You let your breath rise like a lion
tamer's wrist. You know
where he's aiming.
You open your mouth—
- On October 24, 2014, police in Louisiana were advised to be on the lookout for a couple trying to sell a 10-year-old girl at a gas station.
In fairytales, daughters are bought
with flowers—reddest roses, spires
of rampion—it's the sons who get traded
for gold. The villains are easy to recognize—
the hunchback witch, the cat-eyed beast,
the imp with a crooked nose—they wear
wickedness so well, children can always
see it coming. This is not a fairytale.
We know, because the mother—
pregnant, toes poking through her
socks—tries to sell her daughter
for a gold card and gas money.
In the backseat of the van—black
Dodge, Florida plates—the daughter
scrunches up her nose and twists
her ragdoll's neck. She knows better.
She knows that sometimes the villain
is shaped like the man who twirls
a Marlboro and leers at her from the front
seat, but sometimes it's shaped like your mother,
or like a cheap ring spun tight
as a promise around her narrow finger.
Last night, three feet of snow.
Salt thick in the wind, plows roll
dirty mountains into the shorn
field behind the cemetery. Beside it,
a house with a sagging roof. A child
emerges at dusk. From the window,
the rattle of angry pots, black scrape
of burnt dinner. She lifts her hand
a hand to slick her mother's spit
off her cheek. On the warm inside
of her wrist, a wet fingertip traces
the word she just learned. Ingrate.
She grapples her red fingers into a drift,
thin arms dragging her weight.
She hollows a seat at the summit
to watch the yellow wheel
of the moon dropping
over the crooked headstones.
Back to Front.