All night the jungle scrolled by.
Its sheaths of green. Its vine-snaked
trees. Its air closed hot and dark,
the inside of a mouth. The dream was
a mouth. It said I was I and you were
a pair of lips slit in speech. Every word
a tooth. I saw them, short white arrows.
I was telling you something and you
were telling me back and between
your lips the sound rolled into and over
color, magenta, azure, the vile shock
of orange. I felt disaster. And when I woke
I woke with it, all the black balled inside.
My silence and my mouth.
Emma Bolden is the author Maleficae, a book-length series of poems about the European witch trials (GenPop Books); medi(t)ations (forthcoming from Noctuary Press); four poetry chapbooks; and one nonfiction chapbook. She was the winner of the 2014 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose from Gulf Coast, the Spoon River Poetry Review’s 2014 Editor’s Prize Contest, and the Press 53/Prime Number Magazine 2014 Award for Flash Nonfiction. Her work was chosen for inclusion in Best Small Fictions 2015 and Best American Poetry 2015.