Emilia Phillips


        I spend so much time looking

              at scars in the mirror I sometimes forget about

my scabs—recent, tender. The other



when the sun made the third-floor

classroom feel like spring

            had broken like a stick cracked over


a knee, a student scratched her leg until a scab

from some impossible



bite ruptured, a darksome blood-burn



like a spring down into her brie-

white socks where it pinked, spreading. Sometimes I think

          about those lace-

cuffed anklets my grandmother made me


wear with black Mary Janes each Easter—


the way they made me feel

             like Hermes when a breeze

      caught them and fluttered


at my heels. My body has always been pagan

          in its rituals—all blood

and the goat’s heads


of its dreams. I once had to sage

a new house in which I move


my superstitions from room to room


         like a broom, dusting


up my blessings. I’ve learned to leave

          all my doors


unlocked when I’m not home. I’ve learned

          to leave all my doors


          open to the possibility.



Found In Volume 47, No. 02
Read Issue
  • emilia phillips photo by tracy tanner november 2017 1
Emilia Phillips
About the Author

Emilia Phillips is the author of three poetry collections from the University of Akron Press, most recently Empty Clip (forthcoming 2018) and Groundspeed (2016). Her poems and lyric essays appear widely in literary publications including Agni, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere. She’s an assistant professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.