This Is Not a Poem for You

by Emma Bolden

This line doesn’t hold your name–not
the shape of it, the sound of it, and neither does

my mouth. Neither do my fingers. Pen,
I forbid it. If I write about my right hand

fit and locked into your hand, I’ll use my left
to call the locksmith. I’m fixing things. You’ll see.

I’m uncapping the faucet and setting the pipes
free. I’m prying the doors from their cabinets,

letting the dishes you bought shatter themselves
on the floor. The mug that was your mug

is no longer your mug. It isn’t even a mug. It’s shards.
I’ll make those shards so small they forget how

they fit together, how they together made a lip
that fit inside your lips. I’m cutting out the lungs

that inhaled your exhales. I’m cutting loose
my feet from their need to walk towards you

then away from you. I’m cutting loose all
of every want. I’m making of myself a self

of my own making. You’ll see when you don’t
see. I’m making myself into a self who you never knew.

Copyright 2016, Emma Bolden

Emma Bolden is the author of two full-length books of poetry, four chapbooks of poetry, and one chapbook of nonfiction. Her work appeared in The Best American Poetry 2015 and Best Small Fictions of 2015.

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