Emily Paige Wilson

Roses de Nice on a Table

What woman so disturbed
me, as she walked down
the street, trailing the scent
of lilac like a lace veil

that I now collect small glass
bottles of perfume, the blooms
of jasmine and lavender, to wear
my wilting on my wrist?

When I told him I’d leave, I didn’t
tell him at all. Roses grow
in two groups: climbers and shrubs.

Ballerina roses can be both.


Lines for My Future Dating Profile

My big right toe is crooked as the fence post
that fought the hurricane and lost. It’s the only

part of my body I’m both ashamed of
and able to make fun of. See: a sense

of humor? I just so happen to love
the color of mangoes, the scent

of honeysuckle and cinderblocks. The best
gift I’ve ever given was a paperweight

molded from a lover’s bones and his birthstone.
Sometimes opal, sometimes peridot. He was

on the cusp. My ex will tell you
I don’t give enough of myself,

have a pillow princess bad habit to break,
but he allowed spiders to sleep in his lungs.

Cough-spun spittle with every kiss, so we’re
even now. I joke about drowning

succulents, those drought-resistant houseplants,
but I’m afraid I am a woman

who smothers things.

Emily Paige Wilson’s chapbook I'll Build Us a Home is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and two Pushcart Prizes, and can be found in The Adroit Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, PANK, and Thrush, among others. She lives in Wilmington, NC, where she received her MFA, and works as an English adjunct and writing tutor at local community colleges.

JD Thornton