Some nights she comes to act as courier,
midwife to our own skills.
Emily, come like a UFO to implant her genius in us.
Our Queen Mab, condemned to be the only woman mentioned
in the lyric omnibuses of her epoch;
easy scapegoat of men’s centuries,
she stood in for all women.
So now, of course, she comes to blow off steam
in the privacy of the green room.
All those living years she walked from yard to yard,
gardens flourished in opium poppies;
went out at night to see the owls and wed her genius.
She applied her passion like a hot iron sword.
And no one can take off her clothes, ever—she comes
and her language takes them off of us,
not piece by piece, not fumbling buttons,
but all at once in a single shot,
her tiny poems like grenades that fit in the hand.
And we here bask in the debris,
stripped down to our private parts,
the snow white of the bone, the authentic corpse in heat.
The absolute original.

From The Möbius Strip Club of Grief (Tin House Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Bianca Stone. Used with the permission of Tin House Books.