Tag Archives: Emilia Phillips poet

Poetry: Groundspeed by Emilia Phillips

A falling plane as vessel. As Valkyrie—

The espresso shots tremble, darkening; the ounces
chatter on the tray as the unceilinged twin-
engine roar scourges the ear of the drive-thru
worker who only made out double tall. Out the window,
the plane jerks kite-like, tether whipped serpentine, &
drops like an elevator into the abandoned strip’s
parking lot a block from the register, nose snapped like
pencil lead guided by the god-hand that wanted to write
something (elegy, condemnation) across the weedy
& scarred blacktop. The falling plane as thrall, apologia of who’s
to become shadow. After hours, she guided us outside
with chilled canisters of heavy cream sweetened with vanilla
pressurized to spray. It was her last
night on the job. I used to dream I could float two stories
high, like confetti above a fire barrel, but when I
addressed my grounded companions, they said, You’re not
flying. When I say tangible, I mean to
touch. I mean, Of the earth & not above it. & yet love

is an act of falling; & parting, falling out.

read the rest at Green Mountains Review 


Mornings I wake to one place, and at dusk

another. There are many kinds
of sleep. As a child I believed

sleeping with one’s eyes
open was the world

according to John. I called

a ghost, who.
A scarecrow, that.

I wake standing at the window

telling you I don’t see
the fire in the street. I wake
standing in red light

as emergency workers carve a woman
out of steel
horseshoed around the sugar

maple. Sometimes I half
expect to peel a clementine

& find nothing inside.

My mother calls to say
my grandmother just walked down
the hall. My grandmother,
dead for years. I do not know

whether to trust my mother

or the ghost’s side of the story.
All prophets perform
the miracle

of context. As does light.
As do birds in the morning.

-Emilia Phillips, West Branch Wired

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