VESPERS, BIRDSONG, BY EMMA BOLDEN
Why does God allow such symphonies,
such swells of sound rising from a throat
as ordinary as flesh? To live is to be housed
from the beginning inside of your own
ending. Why then must we be confronted
with an elegance that suggests if not
an everlasting then the need to wish for one?
Time passes. Rot endures. And still the tender
insistence of green, the idea that the body,
brute hoarder of terrors, will with its end
go down to feed aster and lavender, all
the bloomed beauties are brief as eternity,
as endless as even the smallest human need.
Emma Bolden is the author of three full-length collections of poetry--House Is An Enigma (Southeast Missouri State University Press), medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press) and Maleficae (GenPop Books)--and four chapbooks. She received a 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A Barthelme Prize and Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Prize winner, her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best Small Fictions, and Poetry Daily as well as such journals as the Mississippi Review, The Rumpus, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, New Madrid, TriQuarterly, Conduit, the Indiana Review, Shenandoah, the Greensboro Review, Feminist Studies, Monkeybicycle, The Pinch, and Guernica. She currently serves as Associate Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Quarterly.