On the Self-Guided Tour of the Fountain of Youth, by Emma Bolden

The cannon fired. Over sedge & sawgrass the sound
shot out, an obscenity, & every tree revealed itself
as a gathering of branches, & every branch revealed

the motion stilled inside it, loosed by the sound. There
were shadows behind the leaves until they became birds.
That was the last time I remember my body as a verb. I ran

to the marsh & its waters, its quiet salting the shore. & three
weeks later was the morning I woke & could not walk.
I lifted each leg by the hollow behind its knee, angled each

over the side of the bed, where they stayed. I felt nothing
like a warning inside of them. A whir of wings. A wave
of reverie that would never break. A terror impossibly still.



Emma Bolden is the author of two full-length collections of poetry — medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013) – and four chapbooks. A Barthelme Prize and Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Prize winner, her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry and The Best Small Fictions as well as such journals as The Rumpus, TriQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, Conduit, the Indiana Review, Harpur Palate, the Greensboro Review, Feminist Studies, The Journal, and Guernica. She serves as a Senior Reviews Editor for Tupelo Quarterly.

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