Emily Vizzo

Illustrate Half This, An Upset

Fishing makes a cold verb, starts with air & winds up



What dazzles the fish – feathers, bright eggs—

Herring leaping into nets.


It’s royal, right? Soldiers hammering ships.

Fishnets on a pinned-up lobster.


If we go back a thousand years,

More fish.


Kings & in-laws. Brisk & salacious gemmy

Crowns, breakfast Danishes.


Half my hometown burned down in the

Hot & smoky days before Christmas.


Airplanes belly ripe with water. The fighters,

Hoses. Workers in the fields still.


I am not a current Queen, stitching on

A royal cloud.


Familiar oaks gone in a rapturous tornado

Purpled in flying ash.


Owning no home can I be truly homeless?

My fingers stink of yarn.


The fire, it’s restless.

Tempestuous devil in a garlic gale.


I would be a moody Queen.

Red garra fish feasting my charred feet.


It may be toothless, that carp—

Lighting tarts on fire.


Hunger quickens,

I fill my mouth with needles.



“Illustrate Half This, An Upset” is from Giantess (YesYes Books, 2018).