Emily Skaja


I walk in a straight line as a compass pulled the wrong way north.
High Priestess of the Not-Quite. Chief Dolorous. And fuck it all
All of it. Unobserved. Clement. Being the one who. Being the one that.
I have the problem of needing to say my history teeth-first to a body
of water, to the river, to the gutter, to the storm drain red & rushed
with leaves in dirty water on the way to your apartment maybe
I should give up the story that what I say can change it
notwithstanding one for, one against your cowardice
notwithstanding halfwinter light torn up wet-white & eyeless
& I know I should sky up birdward, I know I should circle high
until my arms are kited cramped but can I see you
plainly or at all from any height do I know how
to see you I do but I don’t & I can’t
find you on a March night moonless on the hill where I know you
are out walking the treeline slowly with your dog.
Tell me          if I can make the not-moon intercede.
If I can come south as a figure wearing starlings as a coat.
If I can be If I can be If I can be / a tunnel either leafing or branching or
                                       if I can be if I can be if I can be

Emily Skaja grew up next to a cemetery in northern Illinois. Her work has recently appeared in Indiana Review, PANK, The Pinch, Pleiades, and Southern Indiana Review. She was selected as the runner-up for the 2014 Black Warrior Review Contest in Poetry. She is a third-year poet in the MFA program at Purdue, where she is the co-editor of Poetry for Sycamore Review.