Dry Spell

Emily Rose Cole

I tried first the essentials: called corners,
anointed candles in rosemary oil,
latched lavender under my knuckles,

burnt cedarwood helixed with sage,
tucked beneath my pillowcase stars
of anise halved by a bone-handled knife.

Still no lightning licks at my chin,
still, the foxglove’s long unsinging
mouth, the itch of mold in my ears.

Still, these sharp-ribbed dreams,
these incantations that end in an echo
& begin return, return. I want to know

what to bury at dusk, how long to follow
the nightjar, how many moths to pluck,
thrashing, from the wolfspider’s web.

Come, cloudburst. Sing, flower. O, low
unharrowed ventricle, return. Body,
by what magic can I turn you back?

Emily Rose Cole headshot

Emily Rose Cole is the author of Love & a Loaded Gun, a chapbook of persona poems in the voices of women. Her work has appeared in American Life in Poetry, Best New Poets 2018, and River Styx, among others. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati.