Emma Rebholz

everything I’ve done lately is an attempt at greater honesty

I’m whispering all my secrets into a megaphone, standing on the highway median
like a misplanted fern. I’m genuine and you can tell because my face hurts from smiling.
I feel like a sun setting over an empty parking lot. I feel like if I stand still enough
people will believe I’m modern art and not just a very emotional person. if I ever said
I wanted to feel less I was lying. you could replace every organ in my body with felt replicas
and it still wouldn’t stop me from caring so goddamn much. my greatest wish in this moment
is for you to be watching me from the overpass. I want you to throw rocks around me
until there’d be enough for a barricade against the rush hour traffic. and that’s all
it’s ever about, right? an elaborate excuse to be close to you. I snap my fingers
and just like that we’re the only people in the room. on the road. but the only company
I’ve got right now is sky. buckets of it, spilling over. look down, we’ve been standing
on a glass bottom boat this whole time. the megaphone was my captain’s hat and every
passing car was an island. underneath us, the welcome mat from your apartment
is billowing out like a puffer fish. the sun’s just coming up. I still miss you terribly.


and the headless horse you rode in on

I’ve got a campfire going in the living room.
you’d think I wanna burn the house down,
but you’d be wrong. I just want the look
on your face when you see smoke seeping
out from under the doorframe, like I jammed
every cloud in the city in through the mail slot.
people like to ask what you would save from
hypothetical fires, but I’d rather know where
you’d set them, and who with. I’m a serial
hypothetical arsonist. you can see exactly
where the scorch-marks might be on our
basement stairs, the ring of dark cursive
through the wheat field. one night, I slid
onto the upholstery of an abandoned truck,
snapped my fingers, and let the metal go up
around me. where were you? this is my first foray
into real fire. I ripped up the couch cushions, fed
the curtains to the light like presenting a palm of salt
to a stallion. I’ll only open the door if you promise me
a breakneck, a conflagration. tell me a ghost story
with an ending that sticks. I want people to gawk
at our mess, our reckless upheaval. Hamartia,
I hear there’s blue at the core of this.

Emma Rebholz is an undergraduate Writing, Literature, and Publishing major at Emerson College. Their poetry has been recently published by or is forthcoming from Maps for TeethBlueshift JournalVagabond City, and tenderness, yea. They probably want to be your friend.

JD Thornton