Of Flora, Of Fauna


The women are beautiful but they are not
gardens, nor are the gardens beautiful

women.  The clearing clears to another
clearing.  The heart is a copse

of trees waving and waiting and hearing.
The heart is an ear of its own.  When summer

comes with its sounds each tree will tell
its twigs: matches.  There will be wind and all

in bloom winding within it to spark.
There will be smoke and smoke will be

signal.  Every tree speaks to the heart.
Every tree tells it the way of all things.

Bark and the soft flesh underneath burning.  
Heart and the beauties it keeps, burning.

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Emma Bolden is the author of Malificae, a book-length series of poems about the witch trials in early modern Europe, published by GenPop Books in April of 2013. Her poetry has appeared or will soon appear in such journals as Prairie Schooner, Conduit, Indiana Review, Greensboro Review, Redivider, Verse, Feminist Studies, The Journal, Guernica, and Copper Nickel.  She has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. Currently, Emma is an assistant professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University, and she maintains a blog at A Century of Nerve (EmmaBolden.com).