We Turned Into Our Turning

by Emma Bolden

We Turned Into Our Turning

A Saturday of yellows, a cloud
seeded to fall in fragment, floating
its tiny inverse on every surface held

in a cup. Remember. The year was elderflower
sugared and syruped, thick as a tongue.
We experienced a national fever. We held

our hands backwards against our own foreheads,
palms high and fiving fingerwide against sky.
We experienced a national fever

in which we read the sea as the symbol
of its own breaking. There were white
caps and whispers. We were taken

with film stock. I remembered. I wanted,
I listened and lilaced, until even color
turned inside into its hum.


Emma Bolden is the author of two full-length collections of poetry — medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013) — four chapbooks of poetry and one of nonfiction. Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry and The Best Small Fictions as well as such journals as The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, Conduit, and Copper Nickel.

Photo Credits: Edgar Degas, photographer (French, 1834–1917), After the Bath, Woman Drying Her Back, French, 1896. Courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.


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