Emily Vizzo

The Gentle Country

In America my body goes a little white tractor

Bitten beet red, hummocked. I love myself best when

I’m on the run. The dream of wintertime pinking

My earlobes, pulling them to pomegranate ducts.

Monk lions pasted to coral slabs. Sugar burning.

All the coffee I can drink. Baskets of wild mushroom

Caps, ink bottomed, crevasse stinked. My arms

Tangling the neck of an American man. So quiet

Nothing breathes but the ghost of a California freeway,

All the lakes & territories mapped, pockmarked.

America lands me, unpiloted, the lone flight attendant

Gripping a wine key while the captain takes a piss.

A woman kneeling inside her own sideways garbage bin

Scrubbing out the tangerine peels, tissue-wrapped

Tampon lovehauls. Any guitar too heavy when sadness

Grades into me. Sex a musket. A migration,

Greatwings lifting. Musculatures of rabbit.

The thing that will dwell into me, swelling me

Toward burial. My very name a vanishing act.

I named my own doll Emily. She stared at me

With blinking eyes. I unfastened her blue dress

& when he came into me, speaking the name of

His dead son, I felt how slippery I’d become,

How fast I traveled on two fingerwidths,

What sort of permission was needed as his blue

Eyed dog licked my feet in the American dark.



“The Gentle Country” is from Giantess (YesYes Books, 2018).